The Official Funeral For A Leg

Samuel Reason | December 27th, 2017

When you search through the annex of history, sift through the dates, the names and the places. You would really be hard-pressed to find a stranger story than the time a leg was given a full-on official military burial.

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No, you are not dreaming that was indeed the sentence you just read and it was correct! We are of course talking about the time that general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna buried his amputated leg with full military honors and held an official funeral for it. The Mexican general was nicknamed the Napoleon of the West and led his forces passionately. He believed Mexico should be a greater nation and that the Americans should give back to them the Republic of Texas which they considered was one of their northeastern provinces.

But before all this comes to the tale of how he lost his leg, you see the general had been forced to retire due to his blundered attempt at handling the Texan revolutionaries. You see Mexico owed a huge debt to France, largely due to the destruction of French property during the riots of Mexico City. Yet Mexico was refusing to pay up, so France decided enough was enough and sent in the troops. France set up blockades around all the Mexican forts and was attempting to capture the main Mexican military base, Vera Cruz.

So in 1838 Mexico called on their infamous General to come and save the day. He put together an amazing defense but during the immense battle, his leg was blown completely off by cannon fire. With their only hope destroyed Mexico surrendered and agreed to pay the reparations to France.

Yet Santa Anna loved his leg, at the end of the day who doesn’t? It lets you walk and run. He ordered his leg to be buried with full military honors! The funeral even had cannon fire, speeches and poetry recited in the honor of his leg. And the leg itself? Of course, it was put in a crystal case and buried under an expensive monument in Santa Paula Cemetery.

Not only was this whole ordeal ridiculous, Santa Anna brought it up whenever he could! He was even able to use the fame of his buried leg to be elected president of Mexico!

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