When the presence of the U.S. Army in Corpus Christi failed to entice the Mexican army to battle, Taylor marched his army 150 miles to the Texas border at the Rio Grande. Grant, for one, did not support the American approach, later commenting that he felt the resulting war was one of the most "unjust" ever waged. On May 3, 1846, the Americans got the war they came for. Mexican General Mariano Arista opened fire on the American positions with artillery. Grant, twenty-five miles away on the coast, could hear the gunfire and "felt sorry" he had enlisted. As he returned to the beleaguered force, he and the rest of Taylor's army met a large Mexican force– Grant's first experience in battle. The Mexicans, although superior in number, found themselves hopelessly outgunned by the American howitzers, which tore large holes in the Mexican ranks. Grant escaped from the encounter unharmed, although he saw his
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