Saturday 26 July 2008

And now for the good Americans... let's start with the Saint Patrick Battalion

Not all Americans are dumb ass Yankees - far from it.

The problem is that so few Americans these days seem to know much more than the received version of history that so many bloggistes keep churning out.

One correspondent has reminded me of the great history of those Americans who strongly objected to the rape of Mexico by US forces.

The Saint Patrick's Battalion (Batallón de San Patricio) was a unit of several hundred Irish, Germans, Swiss, Scots and other Roman Catholics of European descent, whose consciences were gravely offended by the Yankee attempts to annex Spanish America and so left the US Army and fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848.

Ordinarily, this would not be a course open to a Catholic since it would involve repudiating one’s oath of loyalty to one’s own country.

However, necessity argued for a defence of the states subjected to Yankee aggression and these men were among the few who were able to take steps to prevent it. Even the usual option of simply resigning was not enough since they were faced with a people who needed immediate aid against the oppressive invader.

The great majority of these men were, in any case, recent immigrants from northeastern US ports, escaping extremely poor economic conditions in Ireland, which at the time was being grossly ill-treated by deliberately wicked British economic and military policies resulting in the starving and oppressing of the Catholic Irish.

The flag of the San Patricios

The famine in Ireland was taking place at this time and so resulted in many Irishmen having to leave their native land to flee to America for food and shelter. They were often recruited directly into military service at the ports or, worse, were conscripted on their way south by General Zachary Taylor with fair promises of reward that were often dishonoured.

Many such conscripts were forbidden the free practice of the Catholic religion by the many anti-Catholic officers in the US Army. They also witnessed the conduct of US troops following battle victories with horror and disgust.

They also shared a great sympathy for the Mexicans who were also usually Catholics (although their leaders were usually anti-Catholic Freemasons like their US counter-parts, ironically).

Indeed, as with the Wild Geese of Ireland who served in European Catholic armies, there were many Irishmen who served in the Catholic armies of Latin America.

Captain John Riley, Irish-born and a former NCO in the British Army, had joined the Army in Michigan from but went over to the Mexicans at, appropriately, the town of Matamoros (which means “Moor-slayer”, a title of St James the Greater in Spain. He fought at the Battle of Monterrey in 1846 commanding an Artillery battery.

Scenes of battle for the San Patricios

As so often, these Irishmen distinguished themselves as brave and resourceful soldiers. Doubtless their erstwhile Yankee commanders said, as did King George II at Fontenoy exactly 100 years earlier, “what cursed laws deprived me of such soldiers!”.

The US army's conduct at the previous battle, which had included firing on civilians taking refuge in Catholic churches, resulted in more desertions from the US army.

San Patricios captured by the Americans were, of course, treated with all the usual savagery that one has long since come to expect from Protestants and anti-Catholics. A stooge, show trial was set up with no defence lawyers and no transcripts of the trials were made (err… small matter of the US Constitution being over-ridden yet again by these hypocritical Yankee manslaughterers).

Several were even shot who never even joined the Mexican army! But – hey! – they were anti-Yankee so what does it matter?

Guantanamo Bay, anyone?

Most of the captured San Patricios were hanged or shot.

Some 9,000 US soldiers deserted during the Mexican-American War but only the San Patricios were punished in this way.


Usual reason: they were Catholic.

Yankee dumb ass anti-Catholicism strikes yet again!

According to several sources, those who had left military service before the official declaration of war on Mexico (Riley among them) were sentenced to:

“receive 50 lashes on their bare backs, to be branded with the letter "D" for deserter, and to wear iron yokes around their necks for the duration of the war”

Mass hangings took place at San Angel and Chapultepec.

That odious bully, General Winfield Scott, ordered 30 San Patricios to be executed in full view of the two armies as they fought the Battle of Chapultepec, at the precise moment that the flag of the US replaced the flag of Mexico on the citadel.

By way of example of what these odious Yankee screwballs were like, several sources evidence that this order was executed by the coarse, Yankee heretic and murderer, Colonel William Harney, who already had a very poor disciplinary record and was later court-martialled at least twice.

This brutish rogue ordered Francis O'Connor hanged though he had lost both legs. When informed, the thuggish Harney replied:

“Bring the damn son of a bitch out! My order was to hang 30 and by God I shall do it!”.

Mass hanging of captured San Patricios by the US army

See what lovely people those Mex-basher Yankees were?

Whatever happened to that much-vaunted piece of hypocrisy about ending all “cruel and unusual punishments”?

The celebration days for the San Patricios are 12 September (yes, really! Day after 9/11 and the same day as the victorious Battle of Vienna against the Turks), the anniversary of the executions, and of course St Patrick’s Day. They are remembered in Mexico by the naming of schools and streets and even churches and the battalion’s name is written in gold letters in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.

Viva los San Patricios!



Stephen D. said...


Regarding the topic of the USA's founding, are there recorded opinions concerning the American War of Independence coming from Pope Pius VI, Bishop Richard Challoner, Prince Charles Stuart, or Prince Henry Stuart?

I came across an interesting reprint here of Anglican Methodist leader John Wesley's 1775 statement of opposition to American independence, which, as the introduction notes, partially plagiarized Samuel Johnson and led to Wesley being branded "a Jesuit in disguise and a Jacobite traitor."

Stephen D. said...


Concerning the topic of 19th Century American aggression against Mexico, you wrote to one respondent:

If you are a Catholic then please understand this: no country can simply go and invade another country just because it wants to take their land.

This is called armed robbery and is a very serious crime and sin.

It makes no difference that such a country thinks it can rule the other country better.

It is still a grievous mortal sin to invade and conquer without proper reason.

I don't have any particular desire to defend the American annexation of Mexican territory, but given the assertion above, how extensive does the moral condemnation need to be on other nations throughout history, including those that were part of Christendom? It seems that a ready response to your above points might be: "Well, what right did any of the European powers have to conquer the Americas?" Given your assertion that a "we-know-better" mindset on the part of conquerors does not justify the conquest, it wouldn't seem that the desire to spread Christianity was sufficient justification. Should one say that God brought good (Christian culture) out of a mixture of good, misguided, and evil motives?

I don't know of any people group on this planet who have a history that is totally free of aggressive actions. Therefore, what are some historical examples of territorial expansion, either within Christendom or without, that you view as justifiable given your criteria? And after the fact of a conquest of one people by another, is it correct to say that armed resistance by the conquered people is no longer a morally viable option if a stable order has developed (regardless of whether or not the initial conquest was morally justifiable)?


Tribunus said...

Dear Stephen D,

All fair questions.

As to your first post, there are, I recall, some disparaging remarks about the American Revolution by Pope Pius VI but I do not know about the others you mention.

Interesting facet about Wesley - thank you for that.

As to your next post, I answer thus:

The moral condemnation certainly extends to those nations who were part of Christendom and sought to annex other nations for the same reasons.

Being part of Christendom is no guarantee of virtue or morality in public, foreign or military policy.

When you ask "Well, what right did any of the European powers have to conquer the Americas?" it is perfectly possible to argue that they had no right.

However, I think it possible to argue the other way also on the basis that the extent to which the natives claimed to own all the land in the Americas was by no means clear and, indeed, exceedingly unclear, since they were, in many cases, nomads who did not make claims to territory save temporarily. I accept that this is rebuttable.

There are then all the arguments about whether the land was purchased from the natives fairly with their full knowledge.

The same cannot be said for the land grab from the Spanish and Mexicans since there was not the slightest scintilla of doubt that they claimed the land along the borders and boundaries that they had marked out.

There is such a thing as acquisition of land by legitimate conquest. It is recognised in all legal codes. However, for a Christian Catholic, an act of aggression does not confer such a right since it is not a "legitimate conquest".

A legitimate conquest might be where war is justly declared between two powers or countries and the winner defeats the loser and so conquers him and his land.

For example, when Hitler invaded Poland it was right for Poland and its allies to defend Poland and declare war on Nazi Germany.

The defeat of the aggression required the defeat of the Germany army and the occupation of Germany.

The allied nations then had the right, in international law, to claim the land they had conquered by legitimate conquest. In fact, of course, they chose to hand it back to the Germans. They did not have to do so.

Christianity may also be spread this way but not by unjust aggression.

If Christian missionaries were to be unlawfully attacked then their mother nation might come to their defence and if that resulted in just and unavoidable war with the host nation (say because the host nation did not allow legitimate defence of the missionaries from persecution and instead allowed, or even perpetrated, persecution of them, and/or aggressive actions against the mother nation or declared war against it) then the mother nation could gain territory by just conquest and so spread Christianity by such conquest.

It goes without saying that the war must not only be just but must also be justly prosecuted - at ALL times. The minute is becomes (overall) unjust then it must be stopped.

The desire to spread Christianity is NOT a sufficient ground to declare war on another nation. One may not do evil that good may come of it (see St Paul).

Should one say that God brought good (Christian culture) out of a mixture of good, misguided, and evil motives?

Yes, God can do that but that does not justify the evil acts of men. Men may only got to war justly and fight wars justly. Unjust wars are evil - however much good might be supposed to come from the evil.

No nation or empire has a perfect record, I suspect, but the Austrian Empire grew by dynastic alliances rather than war and they refused to take part in the scramble for Africa and other colonies which engaged less moral nations and empires.

Thus it was said of Austria "O felix Austria, alii bella gerent, tu nubes" - O happy Austria! Others make war but you make love (i.e. marry)!

The fact that some Christian nations have engaged in aggressive wars does not mean that we have to accept that and make rules allowing for it. If it's wrong then it should not be done. Period. End of story.

After the fact of a conquest of one people by another, is it correct to say that armed resistance by the conquered people is no longer a morally viable option if a stable order has developed (regardless of whether or not the initial conquest was morally justifiable)?



Just war criteria of proportionality.

If the order is now stable, and reasonably just and peaceful (so far as human order ever can be) then it would be disproportionate to seek to disturb it now, even if the original aggression were unjust.

The original rebellion of the 13 Colonies was thoroughly immoral, unjust, unnatural and wrong and contrary to just war principles but no-one is now going to suggest for a nano-second that America should be forcibly returned to the British Crown.

That would be absurdly disproportionate and so equally an unjust war.

I hope that makes some sense and is helpful.


Stephen D. said...

Thank you. That exposition is helpful.

Viator Catholicus said...

Listen Limey!

Before you continue insulting Americans maybe you should first take the log out of your own eye.
In fact, much of what is bad in America ultimately derives from Britain or more precisely England since the real British were either massacred by the Anglo-Saxons or forced to Britany and those who survived were called "Welsh" or "foreigners" by their conqueres. But, the English are good at massacring local populations and then colonizing aren't they?
You talk about the American-Mexican War in this post. That was wrong. But why were the San Patricios coming to the US? It was because British murderers were starving the Irish off the land that Limey dogs had stolen and claimed as their own. Perhaps American policy was just the same as the British, but of course, unlike Americans the British are always noble and upstanding, right?
You have a post on the Masonic ideas of the Founding Fathers and go on to belittle American presidents. Well, what race were most of these guys? Judging from their names, it seems their ancestors came from Britain. Were they any worse than your heretic usurper monarchs and heretic anti-Catholic Parliament.
At least, American presidents don't sacriligeously pretend to be the head of the Church. And while Englishmen burned the Pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes day that evil custom has ceased in America thanks to President Washington's moral authority.

From a Yankee Knickerbocker

colonelalp said...

Do you think that anyone who wishes can simply go to another country and live there, without permission, simply because he can get more money?
Nearly all Catholic bishops in the US say that we should give amnesty/citizenship to anyone who comes across the border as 'an act of compassion'.
I don't know why the US has to fee what other countries breed; you catholics will have to face up to the fact that the condom isn't something evil. Certainly less evil than the castrati in the Sistine Chapel, Pius IX kidnapping Edgar Mortara.
Also, please, for your own mental health, find out the reality behind modern freemasons. They're no more likely to hold a conspiracy than the Jesuits.

colonelalp said...

You also don't mention why the Irish were in a largely protestant country like the US, instead of Brazil or Mexico or Argentina: catholic countries (at least the Latin ones) tend to be far more corrupt, instable and poorer.
Having migration run in the same direction for generations is not a sign of good management or goor morals.
You can have the peasants do as many picturesque processions as you like, if what you end up with is Naples, Palermo or Mexico City, you're doing something wrong.

Anonymous said...

Uk defendable sometimes compared 2 usa: dutch personal property okish after .n.y. Conquest. But euen eg d.boone was robbed of home in conqust mex land ditto in florida etc. Degrees of evil vary in unjust wars. rc brit

Tribunus said...

An anonymous "RC Brit" has sent me what is obviously a text message as it is barely decipherable.

I am not quite sure what he is saying except that degrees of evil vary in unjust wars which is undoubtedly true but rather obviously so.

I know of no story of Daniel Boone being robbed of his land by Mexicans, whether in Florida, or elsewhere.

Boone spent most of his life in debt so it is more probable that if he ever lost his home, it was to his creditors, not the Mexicans.