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Ignacio Zaragoza 1829-1862
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member linkys
N 27° 30.138 W 099° 30.369
14R E 450006 N 3042173
Quick Description: A Mexican general best known for his 1862 defeat of invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5 (the Cinco de Mayo).
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 3/14/2008 8:36:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM3CDK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member jcbrad
Views: 65

Long Description:

Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza's statue proudly stands in the oldest Plaza in Laredo, looking out on the street named in his honor. Even if you do not know him from history, you are probably aware of the result of his short, and oftentimes tragic life, Cinco de Mayo. On the 5th of May, 1862 General Zaragoza, leading a smaller and more poorly equipped force caused a vastly superior French force to retreat after what is now known as the Battle of Puebla.

His life took the path from young boy studying for the priesthood, to national hero, but was also filled with personal tragedy. He married Rafaela Padilla, to whom three sons and a daughter were born, with all three sons dying in their infancy. It was while he was serving a Minister of War that a typhoid epidemic swept through central Mexico, and among its victims was Zaragoza's wife.

Zaragoza, in his grief plunged whole heartedly into government work for consolation. Then the French forces of Napoleon III invaded Mexico, and Zaragoza, resigning his position in the government, took charge of the troops fighting the French. In his first battle against the French at Acultzingo on April 28, 1862, where he was forced to withdraw. Yet he learned from what had happened, and when the French prepared to attack his forces once more, he took a favorable defensive position outside of the city of Puebla, where with an army the French should have easily defeated, he rested the French attacks, and when the French retreated it was the turning point in the war, as the people realized that they could defeat the French.

It was while visiting his sick and injured soldiers shortly after his famous victory, that General Zaragoza contracted typhus, of which he died a short time later at the age of 33. His was a brief life, a life that started in what at the time was the Presidio de la Bahía del Espíritu Santo in what was then the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas, now the city of Goliad, Texas, in the United States. Today, in many parts of the the Untied Srates, Cinco de Mayo is a time to go to a Mexican restaurant, having being quite commericialized. Yet in a way the roots of that celebration do indeed begin in the United States, where this great man's life began.

Closeup of the inscription at the base of the statue.

Plaque

Links to several articles on the life of Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza, from basic to more detailed, can be found here, here and here.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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