American Eagle and ShieldThe Eutaw Rangers in the War with Mexico, 1846-1847Alabama Flag and State Outline



Judge Moore's law office in Eutaw, Alabama

A Brief History of the "Eutaw Rangers"

On May 25, 1846, shortly after war was declared against Mexico, Judge Sydenham Moore enrolled a company of volunteers in this law office, which still stands on a corner of the courthouse square in Eutaw, Alabama. On June 2, they left Finche's Landing on a steamboat bound for Mobile. At Mobile, the company was mustered into service for 6 months but owing to a Congressional requirement that all volunteers serve for no less than 12 months, they were disbanded and re-enrolled for the longer period of time.

On June 29, 1846, as part of Colonel John R. Coffey's 1st Regiment of Alabama Volunteers, the Eutaw Rangers departed Mobile aboard the steamboat Fashion. They arrived at Brazos Santiago Pass, Texas, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, on July 4, 1846. After camping for a short time on barren, windswept Brazos Island, the regiment moved to Camp Belknap, a rattlesnake infested hillock overlooking the Rio Grande. Here, they camped until late August, when they were transferred upriver by steamboat to Camargo, Mexico.

When General Zachary Taylor's army departed Camargo for Monterey in September 1846, the Alabamians were left behind to look after sick soldiers. They resented not being allowed to fight and protested in vain to General Taylor. In November they were sent back up the Rio Grande and transported to Tampico, to form part of the garrison of that town, recently captured by the U.S. Navy. They arrived shortly before Christmas, 1846.

Siege of Vera Cruz

On March 9, 1847 the Eutaw Rangers were among the 10,000 troops landed at Vera Cruz as General Winfield Scott began his invasion of Central Mexico. For three weeks the Americans laid siege to the city, bombarding it with cannon fire day and night. (See picture, left.) On March 29, 1847, Vera Cruz capitulated.

Afterward, under the command of General Quitman, the Alabama Volunteers were sent on an expedition to Alvarado, to find fresh horses and cattle for Scott's army. As a result, they arrived back at Vera Cruz after the bulk of the army had departed. They missed the Battle of Cerro Gordo by a day.

After briefly forming part of the garrison at Jalapa, the Alabamians, along with several other volunteer regiments, were marched back to Vera Cruz, where they boarded vessels bound for the United States. The Alabama Volunteers arrived at New Orleans in late May and were mustered out of service. The Eutaw Rangers returned to Greene County on the evening on June 2, 1847, one year from the day they had left. A few days later these "Heroes of '46" were feted by the citizens of Eutaw at a grand barbecue.

During the Civil War, both Sydenham Moore and Stephen Hale led troops in battle as officers in the Confederate Army. Both were killed in action. Hale County is named for Stephen Hale, who is buried in Eutaw's Mesopotamia Cemetery. Sydenham Moore is buried in the New Greensboro Cemetery in Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama. Since the Civil War, Greene County's contribution to the Mexican War has been largely forgotten.

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