In both the United States and Mexico, service in such units was not considered respectable. This process was neither easy nor automatic. It briefly experimented with monarchybut became a republic in These were men who avoided promiscuity, heavy drinking, excessive domestic violence, immoderate gambling, and idleness.
Many Americans doubted the ability of immigrants, and particularly Catholic immigrants, to become citizens. In turn, those who did not want to or were not able to fulfill these ideals became regular soldiers in the permanent armies of the two republics.
However, the regular army was the destination of last resort for the men who became common soldiers. Principally at issue was where the encounter had actually taken place and the willingness of Americans to acknowledge the Mexican contention that the Nueces River formed the border between the two countries.