The Battle of Palo Alto, the first battle of the Mexican War, had two unique features. On May 8, 1846, twelve miles northeast of Brownsville, United States General Zachary Taylor’s 2,228 men defeated a Mexican force of twice as many men. The battle was the first time in the Americas that the U.S. had used lightweight mobile artillery. Another unique feature was that the battle brought together three future presidents. Taylor became U.S. President in 1848. In his command was a young lieutenant, Ulysses S. Grant, who became 18th President of the United States. The defeated Mexicans were under the command of Mariano Arista, who became president of Mexico in 1851.