Join us to hear from Dr. Tim Johnson of Lipscomb University.
During the war with Mexico, several hundred immigrants who had joined the U.S. Army deserted and went over to the Mexican Army. Mostly Irish Catholics, they deserted after being subjected to religious persecution and xenophobia from superior officers. Led by John Riley, the deserters formed a crack fighting unit called the Saint Patrick's Battalion, and they fought in virtually every major battle of the war. Late in the war, at the Battle of Churubusco, 72 members of the unit were captured by the Americans. After a military tribunal, 30 were executed by hanging and the rest were whipped and branded with the letter "D" for deserter. It remains the largest mass execution in American history.
This Shaping a Nation Speaker Series event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP for free through the linked Eventbrite.
The exhibition "Shaping a Nation: Tennessee Volunteers & the Mexican-American War" is funded by the Tennessee Wars Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission.