The Battle of Cameron will always be remembered both in Mexico and in France , this is due to how heroic it was. A handful of brave men faced a 2000-man Mexican army using courage and courage to fulfill their mission of saving a convoy with weapons and the pay of the French army. Battle of Cameron history
Where did this iconic battle take place and when did it take place? Who were recorded in history for their bravery and sacrifice? What was the cause of this battle and the consequences? In this article we will answer these questions, so read on and you will find out.
When and where did the Battle of Cameron take place?
The Battle of Cameron occurred near a small Mexican town called Cameron de Tejeda in the state of Veracruz (Camerone in French), at that time it was just a hamlet and due to the war it was even more desolate. This battle takes place on April 30, 1863 between a group of 62 legionaries from the famous French Foreign Legion and an army of about 2000 Mexicans. This battle would become a mystical symbol of the courage and courage of the Foreign Legion and it was during the second French occupation of the Mexican territory that goes from 1862 to 1867 .
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This battle has become emblematic of the French Foreign Legion due to the difference between the two groups facing each other in combat, and the heroism of the small group of legionaries that made up only one detachment, the 3rd company of the bulk of the Foreign Legion’s troops. Every year the heroes who fought to the end for about 11 hours, with little water and little ammunition, are commemorated until finally fighting hand-to-hand with bayonets and sabers. Battle of Cameron history
Who participated in the Battle of Cameron?
In this Battle of Cameron, a contingent of about 2000 soldiers fought for Mexico , three infantry battalions with a total of 1200 men and about 800 cavalry soldiers , among spearmen and the so-called irregulars who armed with Winchester and Remington repeating rifles and their Colt revolver to the waist, they were experts in launching fast attacks and heavy fire. This army was commanded by the governor of Veracruz, Colonel Francisco de Paula Milan , they had gone out to attack and capture a convoy that was carrying ammunition and 14 million in gold and silver to pay the French troops, this convoy was on its way to Puebla where there were the French troops.
For the French Foreign Legion were men of recognized career in the legion, their captain was Jean Danjou , a 35-year veteran with more than 10 years in the legion, decorated and with a distinguished record. This man wore a wooden prosthesis for his left hand, which he lost in a gun accident, but he was a highly respected officer. On the other hand, Lieutenant Villain , 27, was another veteran decorated for bravery and named a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Another officer was Second Lieutenant Maudet , 34, another renowned legionnaire hardened in the Crimean War alongside Danjou. Sergeant Jean Germys also stands out in this platoon, decorated in the Crimean War and the now common soldiers, who in order to participate in this battle had to renounce their ranks, such as Louis Maine , formerly a sergeant, André Pinzinger and Evaristo Berg , a former second lieutenant. Battle of Cameron history
So we are talking about brave men, with very high military morale and who were willing to die in battle for the honor of the Foreign Legion. In fact, they had come out to alert and reinforce the French convoy that was carrying the ammunition and money , since it was already known that the Mexican army was in pursuit to strip it of its valuable cargo.
Causes of the Battle of Cameron
The main cause of the Battle of Cameron was, of course, the French invasion of Mexican territory , motivated by the foreign debt of Mexico under the government of the well-known Benito Juárez, with France, Spain and England, which although England and Spain accepted a Debt negotiation through diplomatic means, France ruled by Emperor Napoleon III, and which at that time had the most powerful army in the world, wanted to take advantage of its military advantage and circumstances. Battle of Cameron history
The United States was in a civil war and could not intervene in support of the young Mexican republic, so it seemed the right moment to take over Mexico by taking political and economic control, which they finally achieved by establishing Maximiliano of Austria as Emperor of Mexico until the year 1867, when Los Juaristas seized power and shot Emperor Maximilian.
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The second cause of this mythical Battle of Cameron was, on the one hand, how fierce and honorable it was the 3rd company of the French Foreign Legion , which despite being faced with a force many times greater, chose to face it to the death. Although on several occasions they were offered a truce and guarantees to respect their lives, each and every one of these legionaries had a code of honor: to fulfill their duty to the end and first die rather than surrender to the enemy. Battle of Cameron history
Consequences of the Battle of Cameron
The first consequence of the Battle of Cameron, or Bataille de Camerone in French, was human losses, in the end only the former Sergeant Maine and two soldiers remained standing , and the war result was 26 legionaries killed in battle and the rest seriously injured, subsequently giving a total of 43 legionnaires were killed. The Mexican army had lost more than 300 men.
Another outstanding immediate consequence was that the objective of the 3rd company of the French Foreign Legion was achieved, its mission was precisely to save the convoy from the surprise attack of the Mexican army commanded by Colonel Francisco de Paula Milan. So, the weapons and money reached their destination where the French army was, and because of this they took Puebla and finally temporarily established a monarchy on Mexican soil , all for the heroic Battle of Cameron. Battle of Cameron history
The last consequence that we will mention is the effect that this battle had on France, the Battle of Cameron or Camerone is one of the most glorious battles of the French Foreign Legion, and began to be commemorated annually in France and also in Cameron de México, with parades and military acts, both Mexican and French, remember this heroic battle, and some of the participants were recorded in the military history of the Foreign Legion . The wooden prosthetic hand of Captain Jean Danjou is revered as a relic by the Legion and is carried on parades of the Foreign Legion.
Winner of the Battle of Cameron
The winner of the Battle of Cameron was undeniably the Mexican colonel Milan and his troops , as little by little they were gaining ground and cornering the small group of legionaries besieged on a hacienda, where one by one their officers fell and finally only three remained in standing, but the defense was so heroic that the company of legionaries also won their victory, as they fulfilled their mission and are remembered as heroes . So, it can be said that both sides of this Battle of Cameron gained something. Battle of Cameron history