Despite the crushing defeat at Buena Vista (February 1847), the Mexican government refused to surrender. In March, General Winfield Scott gathered a 10,000 man force in southern Texas before sailing down the Gulf coast. He later began a 260-mile march toward Mexico City, following basically the same path as Cortes centuries earlier.In a truly classic campaign, Scott managed to preserve his force and steadily advance. He was victorious in the mountains at Cerro Gordo in April 1847, and later at Puebla in May.Then followed the August Armistice, a two-week truce during which the Americans again sought Mexican capitulation. Santa Anna used the time to strengthen his defenses.Warfare resumed and the American force pushed on toward Mexico City. Heavy American casualties were sustained at Molino del Rey (September 7-8).The last major engagement occurred at the fortified hill position of Chapultepec. Santa Anna abdicated shortly thereafter and fled the country.Scott's offensive is regarded by many as the greatest in American military history. His forces achieved their object despite overwhelming obstacles, including extreme heat, insufficient supplies, widespread disease as well as intense enemy opposition in unfamiliar territory.