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While wars are won and lost by nations, they are actually fought by individuals. Many compelling characters contributed to the story of the U.S.-Mexican War and to the events leading up to and directly following the war. Among these characters, some of the most prominent were explorers, soldiers, politicians, diplomats and entrepreneurs. Learn about the lives of these people in the following biographical essays.

United States



Stephen F. Austin

President James K. Polk

Sam Houston

President John Tyler

General Zachary Taylor

Commodore David Conner

Commissioner John Slidell

Captain John C. Fremont

Colonel Stephen W. Kearny

Commodore John Sloat

General Winfield Scott

Nicholas Trist

Abraham Lincoln

Ulysses S. Grant

James Bowie


Hernán Cortéz

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla

General General Antonio López de Santa Anna

General José Joaquín de Herrera

Juan Almonte

President Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga

General Mariano Arista

Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo

Valentín Gomez Farias

President Benito Juárez

President Porfirio Diaz


Essays written by Donald Frazier