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Ignacio Zaragoza

Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza (March 24, 1829 - September 8, 1862) was a Mexican General best known for his defeat of invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5 (the Cinco de Mayo), 1862.

Zaragoza was born in the town of Presidio de la Bahia del Espirito Santo in what what was then the Mexican province of Texas, now the city of Goliad, Texas. Young Ignacio studied in the semenary[?] of Matamoros, then moved to Monterrey, Mexico.

During Mexico's political unrest of the 1850s Zaragoza joined the army supporting the cause of Mexico's Liberal Party, opposing dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He had part in several important victories which led to reestablishment of a constitutional democratic government in Mexico.

Zaragosa was Secretary of War from April till October, 1861 in the cabinet of President Benito Juarez.

When the French Forces of Napoleon III invaded Mexico Zaragoza fought them, first engaging the French at Acultzingo[?] on April 28, 1862, where he was forced to withdraw. Zaragoza understood the favorable defensive position outside of the city of Puebla, where with a smaller and more poorly equipt force he beat back repeated French assaults on May 5th. The French then retreated to Orizaba[?].

Ignacio Zaragoza was known for visiting his sick and injured soldiers, and shortly after his famous victory he contracted typhus, of which he died at the age of 33.

See also: History of Mexico



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