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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Mariano Escobedo

ESCOBED0, Mariano, Mexican soldier, born in Dos Arroyos, Galeana, state of New Leon, in January 1828. He was of humble parentage, and as soon as his age permitted he became a muleteer. At that time Mexico had no railroads, and scarcely any good highways, but merely mountain paths, especially near the Texas frontier, where the muleteers were at the same time traders and smugglers. Escobedo was in charge of a string of pack mules belonging to his father when the war with the United States began; and when General Zachary Taylor marched against Mexico, crossing the River Nueces, Escobedo converted his muleteers into partisans, and attacked the American forces wherever he could meet them in small bodies. He also took part in the fight at the Cation de Santa Rosa, and in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de Guerrero, and in the rest of the campaign in the northern states.

After the peace of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in 1848, Escobedo retired again to his former life in the country ; but when, in 1854, the revolution of the "Plan de Ayutla" broke out, he offered his services to the Liberal party, was appointed captain of a company, and, together with Geronimo Trevino, Francisco Naranjo, and Diodoro Corella, who afterward became notorious, contributed, in 1855, to the defeat of Guitian at Saltillo, and of Parrodi in Morterillos. His name first became known during the three years' war called the" war of the reform." when he again fought for the Liberal party against the forces of Miramort. Juarez appointed him colonel in 1859, and he contributed to the defeat of Miralnon at Atentique, after which he continued in the campaign till the victory of Calpulalpan, 22 December 1860.

After the departure of Miramon for Europe, and the establishment of the government of Juarez in the City of Mexico, 11 January 1861, Escobedo, with the rank of brigadier general, was sent against the remnant of the Church party under Marquez and Meja, put he was surprised in the town of Rio Verde, and taken prisoner after a heroic defense. Marquez ordered him to be shot, but he was saved by Mejia, and kept prisoner at Bucareli, whence he afterward escaped, and, traveling on foot to Huichapan, offered his services again to the government of Juarez. After the intervention of Napoleon III in Mexican affairs, Escobedo participated in the repulse of the French under Laurenzec at Puebla, 5 May 1862, and the less fortunate Mexican attack at the Cerro del Borrego hill, near Orizava. After the reinforcement of the French under Porey, and their renewed advance upon Puebla, Escobedo, under special orders from Juarez, organized forces for the succor of that City, spending part of his private fortune in this undertaking, and entered Puebla before it was surrounded by the French army. He took part in the protracted defense of the City, and when it was captured, 17 May 1863, he was taken prisoner, but escaped from Orizava and joined Juarez again in the capital. When the president with his cabinet abandoned the City before the advancing French, Escobedo accompanied him as far as Zacatecas, but afterward joined Felipe Berriozabal and Nicolas Regules in their resistance to the invaders.

When the empire was established, in June 1864, Escobedo was obliged to give up the struggle, which he had continued in the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, together with Hinojosa and Cortina. He passed into Texas, and fixed his residence in San Antonio, where he continued his exertions for the republican cause. With special authority from Juarez, he went to New Orleans in the middle of 1865 secretly purchased arms and ammunition, and organized after his return to San Antonio, a force consisting of American Negroes, ex-Confederate soldiers, and Mexican refugees, which he led into Mexico. In November 1865, he surprised and captured the iraperial garrison of Monterey, and from that time the fortunes of the republic in the northern states took a favorable turn. Escobedo's forces were rapidly augmenting by the enrolment of the dispersed republicans, and in March 1866, he was able to begin offensive operations toward the interior. In June 1866, he captured Saltillo after a short resistance, and in July of the same year Juarez established his government in that City.

Escobedo was appointed general-in-chief of the army of the north; and as the French troops retired from the northern states in their march of concentration toward Vera Cruz, Escobedo captured the principal cities successively from the remaining imperial forces. In September Escobedo marched toward Guanajuato, establishing his headquarters in Celaya, where his forces were joined by those of Corona and Eulogio Parras from the north, and Huerta and Regules from Michoacan, while Juarez established his goveminent in Zacatecas. In November his army numbered 15,000 men, and with this force he marched, in December on San Luis Potosi. Alarmed by the rapid successes of Escobedo, the emperor despatched Miramon and Castillo at the head of two bodies of troops, the latter toward San Luis Potosi, the former, with 4,000 men, to Zacatecas. Miramon rapidly occupied Aguas Calientes, and surprised Zacatecas, where Juarez with his cabinet barely escaped falling into his hands. He immediately evacuated the town, and on his march to join Castillo he was attacked, on 1 February 1867, by Escobedo's forces at San Jacinto and completely routed, with the loss of nearly 2,000 dead and wounded. His artillery and ammunition were captured, together with 100 prisoners. Miramon's brother Joaquin was also taken and shot, together with ninety-three prisoners, as a reprisal for the execution of Mexican officers alter the imperial decree of 3 October 1865, declaring republicans under arms outlaws. For this victory Escobedo was promoted to general of division, and appointed commander-in-chief of all the republican armies.

Juarez established his government in San Luis de Potosi, and ordered Escobedo to advance on Queretaro, where the rest of the dispersed troops of Miramon had joined the imperial army, consisting of more than 8,000 picked men. After an obstinate fight on the heights of San Gregorio, Escobedo, with an army of over 20,000 men, surronded Queretaro in the beginning of March establishing intrenchments and batteries on the hills of Cimatario and CuestaChina, and on 12 March a regular siege began, which lasted till 15 May when, after a vigorous assault, the City was taken, as is generally believed, by treachery of Colonel Miguel Lopez, the chief of the emperor's bodyguard. The emperor, together with Mejia and Severe del Castillo, was taken prisoner, and, on surrendering his sword, offered his word of honor to Escobedo to leave the country immediately if conducted to the nearest port by an escort; but Eseobedo refused to grant him this liberty, under express orders from Juarez. It is said that he had previously refused brilliant offers that were made to him by European princes to allow Maximilian to escape from Queretaro.

A court martial was instituted at Queretaro by Juarez's order, and the emperorwas condemned and executed. At the end of June Eseobedo left for the City of Mexico, but after the reestablishment of the republican government in the capital he retired to his country seat, where he remained, except during a short service in 1868 against the revolutionists of 8inaloa, till Lerdo de Tejada assumed the presidency in 1873. When a revolutionary movement, encouraged by the Church party, broke out toward the end of that year in Michoacan, Escobedo was sent to quell it, and succeeded in doing so in November 1874. In 1875 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the frontier department of the east, when the rising of General Diaz broke out. Escobedo, by order of the secretary of war, Mejia, delivered his command to General Corona, but the latter did not succeed in quelling the movement, which culminated in February 1876, in the " Plan de Tuxtepee."

Lerdo de Tejadathen removed Mejia and appointed Escobedo secretary of war. Notwithstanding that the army was filled with sedition, Escobedo took the most active measures, sending General Alatorre with a strong force to the eastern and General Ceballos to the western states, but they were unable to stem the tide" and when the revolution was triumphant at Los Llanos de Tecoae, and Lerdo resolved to abandon the capital, Escobedo collected the garrison and a troop of rural guards, and with them, on 26 November proteeted the departure of the president and his banisters toward the Pacific coast, as the roads to the Gulf were intercepted. After several days the party was surprised and captured by a bandit, Pioquinto tluato, of Diaz's party, and only released on payment of a ransom of $30,000. After this they reached Acapnleo in safety, and proceeded thence to New York.

Escobedo remained there till February 1878 when he went to San Antonio, Texas, and published a manifesto, proposing the overthrow of Diaz and the reinstallation of Lerdo. Colonels Winter, Menroy, and Cristo, who, passing the frontier, invaded Mexican territory, signed this document. But the authorities took active measures, and when Eseobedo ventured personally to enter Mexico, he was arrested at Lampazos and sent as a prisoner to the capital. He was tried by a court martial, but, notwithstanding the exertions of the government, was declared not guilty, and again retired to his estate in San Luis Potosi. Fearing attempts on his life, he came to the capital, where, although at liberty in his residence, he was continuously under espionage, and, in fact, a prisoner, being forced to present himself frequently to the authorities.

To escape these persecutions, he obtained a medical certificate, and, under pretext of restoring his health, came to New York toward the end of 1879, but in August 1880, returned to Mexico and accepted an office from the government. This action was a surprise, as shortly before this he had been planning a new conspiracy against Diaz, and had compromised many persons. In 1882 Gonzalez appointed him president of the supreme military court of justice, and, after holding this office till 1883, he retired finally into private life.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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