Many people think of Cinco de Mayo (or May 5th) as the day of Mexican Independence and the equivalent of July 4th. Technically this isn’t true however it does celebrate the spirit of independence of Mexico’s people.
Mexico declared it’s independence from Spain on September 15th of 1810. It was developing as a nation. In January of 1862 the English, Spanish, and French all landed troops in Mexico. They came with the idea of collecting debts from the government. President Benito Juarez made deals and the English and Spanish quickly left the country, the French however stayed behind. The French army was well equipped and trained and it became quickly apparent that they had other plans in mind. The United States was in the early stages of the Civil War and was unable to offer any defenses to Mexico.
On the morning of May 5th 1862 under the leadership of Mexican General Zaragosa and Colonel Diaz of the Cavalry 4000 Mexican soldiers engaged the French army in a terrible battle. The French were soundly defeated and tried to abandon and seek refuge in the United States. Union forces from the United States were sent to the Mexican border under the leadership of General Sheridan and were quickly rounded up.
It was later discovered that French were planning on using Mexico as a supply station to supply the confederate army. Many historians content that had the French not been defeated the Civil War may have carried on for many more years before coming to an end.