Category | Informative

Boy Heroes of Chapultepec

Posted on 17 September 2013 by Administrator


On May 13, 1846 the United States declared war on Mexico, with the aim of seizing Alta California, New Mexico and other territories in the north of the country.

On September 8, American invaders seized Molino del Rey, to advance towards the last Mexican military redoubt on their way to Mexico City: Chapultepec Castle, which housed the Military College, where there were over 50 cadets.

The castle’s defense was entrusted to General Nicolás Bravo, a former insurgent. However, the general had just over 800 soldiers to defend the fortress from over 7,000 U.S. soldiers.

General Bravo ordered the underage cadets to withdraw, but most did not. On the morning of September 12, 1847, American batteries engaged in an intense bombardment of the castle, to devastating effect.

At dawn on September 13, they once again bombarded the Castle but at nine o’clock the firing ceased, and the American soldiers began their ascent of the hill, on the west side. They fought hand to hand. The Mexicans fought bravely but the invaders were gaining ground and made it to the castle on the west side.

By the time the Americans reached the castle, only a few soldiers and cadets remained inside. Six of these Boy Heroes are etched in the country’s memory: Juan Escutia, Vicente Suárez, Fernando Montes de Oca, Francisco Márquez, Agustín Melgar and Lieutenant Juan de la Barrera, who gave their lives during the U.S. attack on Chapultepec Castle on September 13, 1847.

President Benito Juárez was the first to officially honor the epic deed of the Boy Heroes, by decreeing September 13th a national day of mourning in memory of the cadets who died in Chapultepec Castle.