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Battle Name : Camerone

Date(s) : 30 April 1863

Part of : French intervention in Mexican Succession ,

Outcome : A victory for Mexican Cavalry & Infantry over 3rd Company, French Foreign Legion

Type of battle : Land


An important point in the history of the French Foreign Legion when a company fought almost to the last man against overwhelming odds to protect a supply convoy.


The small, ruined hacienda of Camerone between Vera Cruz and Puebla, Mexico (Mexico)

More details

This was an important point in the history of the French Foreign Legion (La Legion Etrangeres) which established their tradition of never surrendering.

The third company of the Legion left the garrison of Chiquihuite to meet a convoy of gold travelling from Vera Cruz to where the French were beseiging the city of Puebla. The convoy was carrying Fr4,000,000. Just past the the village of Camerone, the company of 65 Legionaires was attacked by 800 Mexican cavalry. They formed square and fell back on a small group of riuned buildings where they made a stand.

The Adjutant-major in charge, Captaine Jean Danjou saw how hopeless their situation was, the ammunition, water and supplies on the mules had been lost after the first charge. Another column of 1000 Mexican infantry were also approaching. However, he made all his men swear an oath never to surrender and they fought the rest of the day in blistering heat and constant fusilades.

When the last few Legionaires were finally overwhelmed, out of rounds and using their muskets as clubs there were only 19 left standing. Almost all of the wounded died later.

Captaine Danjou's wooden hand (he hads lost it some years previously but had a wooden one made to enable him to ride) is now preserved as a relic of the Legion at their headquarters in Aubagne, France

Casualty figures

3rd Company, French Foreign Legion

Number engaged :

Casualties :
46 (70.77%)

Mexican Cavalry & Infantry

Number engaged :

Casualties :
300 (16.67%)