Both a state park and international historic site, reconstructed birthplace and statue of one of Mexico's most famous military figures, Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862). Mexican general and liberal leader was minister of war under Juárez. In 1862 he commanded outnumbered, poorly equipped Mexican army in defense of the Central Mexico city of Puebla against elite French force. Zaragoza flung back attacking army, inflicting heavy losses and forcing its withdrawal to east coast; Zaragoza died of typhoid fever on Sept. 11, 1862. It is not generally known that this French army had proposed to march into Texas to establish aid and supply line to Confederate forces-but they reckoned without Zaragoza. The battle date, Cinco de Mayo (May 5), is a national holiday throughout Mexico, and is celebrated here and in several Texas cities. Site is two miles south off U.S. 183 at Presidio La Bahia.
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