Santa Anna's Army
Proclaimed “Napoleon of the West” is General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was the former President and General of Mexico. When Texas seceded from Mexico in ’36, Santa Anna was sent to quell the rebellion. He lost whatever sympathy the world might have had for his cause when he massacred prisoners at the Alamo and Goliad.
The Texans beat Santa Anna at San Jacinto, and in true Texas style, took back with them the leg the general lost in the battle.
President Polk was the next American to raise Santa Anna’s ire. Polk and his concept of “manifest destiny” meant an annexation of the independent Texas in ’46. Mexico still saw Texas as a province in rebellion and moved their forces north to take it back.
Under General Zachary Taylor (“Old Fuss and Feathers”), Polk put together a ragtag army to block the Mexicans, and the war was on. Though their army was larger and prettier, at least, the Mexicans were defeated by the Yanks at such places as Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterrey, and Buena Vista. While the Mexicans were fighting the American troops in the north, General Winfield Scott landed at Veracruz in the south and took Mexico City itself.
After the war, Santa Anna went into a self-imposed exile. He didn’t emerge back onto Mexico’s political frying pan until the French conquered Mexico in 1863. The French put Emperor Maximillian on the throne and, in a “goodwill gesture” that stunned the world, offered control of the remaining army to Santa Anna.
Santa Anna rolled over like a whipped dog and agreed. The rumor is that Maximillian has promised to build Santa Anna an army with which to invade Texas, but only if he can first conquer the ghost rock-rich California Maze.
Santa Anna has far fewer troops than before, so he has resorted to terror tactics to force Californians out of their boomtowns. Many have brilliant and colorful regiments of Santa Anna riding through the California wastelands, but many others claim there is another army, one that moves only at night. This is the Ejército de los Muertos, or “Army of the Dead.”
Lately, Santa Anna has been sending out scouts as far afield as Arizona and the Texas border, and his men have been sighted on the move along the baha peninsula. They seemed to be looking for something. Just what remains to be seen.