Friday, March 09, 2007

March 9, 1847:

Winfield Scott Besieges Veracruz

The war with Mexico made two generals into heroes in the United States who soon ran for president: Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Taylor was destined to be elected president in 1848, though he served for only for a year and a half. The Whigs, bypassing their incumbent Milliard Fillmore in 1852, nominated Winfield Scott as the party's standard-bearer, with William Alexander Graham, Fillmore's secretary of the Navy, in the number two slot.

They lost to Democrats Franklin Pierce and William R. King, however, and it would be the last time the Whigs participated as a stand-alone party in a presidential election. Whigs supported the nominees of the American Party in 1856 -- with Fillmore the nominee for president -- and the Constitutional Union Party in 1860, with the top of the ticket going to John Bell. After that the Whigs were history, literally and figuratively, unless you count this group.

Back in 1847, that was all still in the future the day Winfield Scott, Old Fuss & Feathers, oversaw a successful amphibious landing of 12,000 US troops near Veracruz, Mexico (pictured). The city fell to Scott's forces in less than three weeks, and the operation opened Mexico up to further penetration, including the capture of Mexico City in September.

No comments: