Palo Alto Battlefield gets 4 new 6-Pounders
The war began as a result of Mexican efforts to besiege a U.S. army installation, “Fort Texas”, (Garrison: Major Brown with 7th Infantry, Capt. Loud’s Artillery Co. with four 18 pounders, & Lt. Bragg’s Light Artillery four guns) which the Mexicans viewed as having been built within the boundaries of Mexican Texas. General Zachary Taylor, receiving supplies from Port Isabel, heard the distant report of cannon fire. The Mexicans had begun to attack Fort Texas. Taylor gathered his troops and rushed to relieve the defenders of the fort but was intercepted by a Mexican force commanded by General Arista. Another Mexican force (1,540 men, including Artillery 14 Guns, Matamoros Natl. Guards Battalion, Mexico (Col. F. de Berra), Puebla (Col. Orihuella), & Morelia (Col. Urriza) Activos Battalions) under General Francisco Mejia were left behind at Fort Brown & Matamoros.
General Arista’s army was stretched a mile wide, making an American bayonet charge impossible. Taylor, in an unlikely move, advanced his artillery to attack the enemy. It was this “Flying Artillery”—the tactic of using light artillery to attack then quickly move to another location and fire once more, developed by Major Samuel Ringgold—that won the battle for the Americans. The Mexican artillery, heavy and slow, was futile in the thick brush at Palo Alto. Arista ordered cavalry charges to flank the artillery gunners, but the American “Flying Artillery” was able to mobilize and relocate.
Steen Cannon & Ordnance Works is supplying the battlefield with 4 new Model 1841 6-pounders