The Battle Of Palo Alto And The Mexican American War – by the National Park Service
The Battle of Palo Alto is important mainly as the first major battle of the Mexican-American War, and moreover one that is accessible to tourists in Southern Texas as it is on the Rio Grande not far from Brownsville and also not far from the Battlefield for Resaca de Palma, a battle fought the next day between Zachary Taylor’s Army and the Mexican Army of the North. It is interesting to note that there is no land for this battlefield that is open to the public, and in response to the fact that one cannot go and see the battlefield for oneself (but why though?), the Park Service has written a short guide that helps explain the battle in the context of America’s conflict with Mexico over disputed territory, in which the battle occurred that remains something that divides the two neighbors and has influenced the course of future conflicts as well (such as World War I). The battle itself was a case where American superiority in artillery was very important, particularly in the light artillery that allowed for a defensive victory, and that is something that would be repeated in several battles like Buena Vista where the Mexican numbers did not tell.
This book is a short one at ten pages in length and it demonstrates a very brief and economical approach to the battle, its context and its aftermath. As might be expected, this is somewhat superficial in nature, but since the reader cannot go and see the area for oneself, the book does not appear to view it necessary to provide the views and photographs that would allow the reader to see what the places look like. Instead the text is serviceable but the drawings are somewhat amateurish.