The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Palo Alto (wood)
PALO ALTO (Sp., “tall timber”), a wood in S. Texas, about 8 m. N. N. E. of Matamoros, near which a battle was fought, May 8, 1846, between the Americans commanded by Gen. Taylor, and the Mexicans by Gen. Arista. Taylor had marched on May 1 from Fort Brown, opposite Matamoros, for the relief of Point Isabel, where he had a depot of provisions which was threatened by the Mexicans. Having made this place defensible, he started to return on the 7th. At noon on the 8th the enemy appeared in his front in a position to cut him off from Fort Brown. The action began with an artillery fire from the Mexicans and a cavalry attack with the lance. They were forced back, and the Americans advanced. After an engagement of five hours the Mexicans retreated. They numbered about 6,000, and their loss in killed was about 100. The Americans numbered about 2,300, and their loss was 4 killed and 40 wounded.