Mexican congress honors Irish who fought for Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico added the San Patricio Battalion to the
names of national heroes inscribed in gold on the wall of Congress on
Thursday, honoring the Irish soldiers who deserted the American army to
fight for Mexico in the war of 1846-1848.
Some emigrants from Ireland in the early 19th century joined the U.S. Army
as a way to obtain citizenship, and were sent off to fight in the U.S. invasion
It was a time when anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant prejudice was strong in
United States. A few of the soldiers, finding Mexico's Roman Catholic
culture more appealing and the U.S. invasion unjust, deserted to the
They were among the most tenacious fighters in the Mexican army, which
was defeated in 1848 with the U.S. capture of Mexico City. Most of the
men from the Irish battalion were hung as deserters.
The ceremony coincided with the recent release of a film about the battalion,
"One Man's Hero," in theaters in the capital.