Story Not appropriate for Florida students
In Mexico City they celebrate John Riley and the Saint Patrick’s Battalion on Saint Patrick’s Day rather than Leprechauns and green dye.
The American war on Mexico was brutal and unpopular. It was widely seen as an effort to expand slave territory and became a training ground for future Confederate officers like Robert E. Lee.
Ulysses Grant said of his service in the war: “I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign.”
Irish immigrants, driven out of their island by the English, were enlisted in the Army for the invasion of Mexico. Irish were little better regarded in American than they had been by the English. John Riley and others left the American Army. They felt more drawn to fellow Catholics and formed a Battalion to fight with Mexicans against foreign invaders.
Here is an Irish song which tells the story.
The surviving San Patricio’s were hanged after the Battle of Churubusco.
Have a green beer and a bean burrito in honor of the Irish.