Artillery fire launched from the fort of Guadalupe managed to decimate the French army, but the seasoned and experienced Zouaves managed to ascend to the fort of Guadalupe in an attempt to take it, but were stopped cold by the Rifle Corps, who were stationed there. The Zouaves retreated in order to regroup and resume the advance, they knew that the fight would be tough but hoped that the Mexicans would be easily overcome in the ensuing melee. The French regrouped and, supported by the First and Second
Marine Regiment; counterattacked the rest of the Mexican line. They were received by Mexican bayonets in a bloody melee where they were courageously repelled, one by one.
To complement the Mexican defense, the Pachuca Guard, on horseback, charged on the rest of the column firing their guns and striking with powerful sword blows on the already decimated and surprised French Army, who retreated from the position.
After the battle, Zaragoza sent a very important message as part of his battle report: “The national arms are covered with glory. The French troops behaved with courage under fire, but their chief, ineptly” – perhaps referring to General Ferdinand’s vanity, who, even before any military confrontation with the Mexicans had expressed
-“We are so superior to the Mexicans in organization, discipline, race, morale and refinement of sensibilities, that from this moment, in command of our 6,000 brave soldiers, I am the master of Mexico”.
Because of this great feat, Ignacio Zaragoza is considered as the Hero of Liberty and champion of the Battle of Puebla. Since then, the city of Puebla was named by presidential decree as Puebla de Zaragoza, as well as the bordering state of Coahuila de Zaragoza.
Ignacio Zaragoza married Rafaela Padilla de la Garza, with whom he had three children. Their marriage lasted only 5 years because his wife died of pneumonia.
At the age of 33, he contracted typhoid fever, leading to the premature death of this brave Mexican hero on September 8th, 1862.
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