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Mexican War

1844-1848

Grant arrived at his post at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, MO in the fall of 1843. His West Point roommate Fred Dent encouraged him to visit the home of his family nearby. It was a slave-holding plantation known as White Haven.

After a few visits to White Haven Grant met Fred's sister Julia. Grant fell in love and the pair spent a lot of time together. They shared a love of reading and horseback riding. Grant found out in the spring of 1844 that his unit was going to be deployed further south. He rushed to White Haven to ask Julia to marry him before he left. Julia agreed but they decided to keep the engagement secret because they felt Julia's father was not yet ready to consent to their marriage. 

Grant was stationed at Camp Salubrity, LA. In the spring of 1845 Grant returned to White Haven on leave to see Julia and to ask Colonel Dent for his daughters hand in marriage. Grant would continue a frequent and romantic correspondence during their separation.

In the summer of 1845 the army moved to New Orleans and then Corpus Christie, TX. In April 1846 the army entered disputed territory and war was declared with Mexico.  Grant was involved in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma and Monterrey. At the battle of Monterrey Grant rode his horse bravely under enemy fire to deliver a crucial message.  

In 1847 the army moved towards Mexico City, fighting battles at Cerro Gordo, Molina del Rey, Chapultepec and Mexico City. At the San Cosme Gate Grant brought a howitzer up a church belltower earning his second commendation and promotion during the war. Grant was now a Brevet Captain, but had been acting as regimental quartermaster for the war, giving him valuable military supply experience.

Mt. Popocatapetl, Mexico

The United States army took Mexico City and the war ended in 1847. Grant and some fellow soldiers went sightseeing to caves and ruins during their final months stationed in Mexico. Grant and some adventurous soldiers even made a dangerous ascent of the volcano PopocatapetlGrant would reflect later that he felt the war was unjust and developed an affinity for the Mexican people and their country. Grant was finally able to return to White Haven in the spring of 1848, where he was reunited with his fiancee Julia. 

Individuals and places relating to

U.S. Grant's Mexican War Years....

Jefferson Barracks

(Grant's military post 1843-44 and current site of park & museums.)

Richard S. Ewell

(Grant's superior Officer at Jefferson Barracks.)

Stephen W. Kearny

(Commandant of Jefferson Barracks.)

Robert C. Buchanan 

(President of the Mess at Jefferson Barracks.)

White Haven Plantation

(The country estate of the Dent Family currently US Grant NHS.)

Camp Salubrity

(Grant's military post in 1844-45.)

Zachary Taylor

(Grant's commanding General.)

Palo Alto Battlefield

(Grant's first combat in the Mexican War.)

Resaca de la Palma Battlefield

(Grant's second engagement in the Mexican War.)

General Winfield Scott

(Grant's commanding General.)

 

Some of the notable individuals in the Mexican War with Grant...

Jefferson DavisRobert E. LeeGeorge Meade

P.G.T. BeauregardJoseph E. Johnston Ambrose Burnside.