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On this Day with the Iowa Almanac

Hear about the story of an Iowan Hoisting the flag over war with Mexico

In 1836, Texas won its independence from Mexico and became a separate country. It became one of the United States in 1845, just a year before Iowa was admitted into the union.

In early 1846, war broke out over where the border was between Mexico and Texas. American history books call it the Mexican War, but Mexican history books refer to it as the U.S. Invasion. Congress declared war on Mexico in May of that year, and the U.S. doubled the size of its Army fighting force.

We've told you before about some of the soldiers who volunteered from the Iowa Territory to serve. Today, the story of Company K from Fort Madison, which was mustered for duty a year into the war. They joined Major General Winfield Scott's 13,000-man army and participated in the American victory at the Battle of Cerro Gordo in April of 1847. Scott's army fought its way to Mexico City, losing 40 percent of its men along the way to combat and disease, including the Iowa company commander, Captain Edwin Guthrie.

On September 14th, 1847, General Scott's army captured the capitol of Mexico City. That's when Iowan Benjamin S. Roberts of Fort Madison made history. He was serving with the U.S. Mounted Rifle Regiment at the time. Benjamin Roberts personally removed the Mexican flag that was flying over the National Palace and replaced it with the American flag.

The sure sign of military conquest...hoisting your country's flag in place of your enemy's. And when the U.S. army captured the Mexican capital, it was Iowa's Benjamin Roberts who flew Old Glory over the Mexican National Palace, on this date, in 1847.

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