During Mexican-American War, Battalion Of Irish Immigrants Fought Against U.S.

Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 3:13pm
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While most of the rhetoric surrounding the border between the U.S. and Mexico today is about immigration, it’s been a contentious region for centuries. 

And, in the 1840s, during the Mexican-American War, it was the site for one of the most unlikely alliances in history.

Back then, many immigrants in the U.S. were from Ireland, and many of them joined the Army to fight for their new country. But some saw that they had more in common with their Catholic opponents than their Protestant allies in America.

Several hundred of them defected and formed the “Los San Patricios,” a new battalion led by John Riley, an Irish-born soldier who was originally in the British Army before emigrating to the U.S.

I spoke with Dr. Matt O’Brien, professor of history at Franciscan University of Steubenville, more about this.

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