It is situated in the northeast part of the state, and lies some 193 km (1.15 mi) from the city of Puebla, the state's capital. According to INEGI figures the municipality had a 2005 population of some 4,306 inhabitants.
The municipality has an area of 110 km² and the principal city is Ville of 5 of May an a population of 1,500.
The Cuatecomacos were a Nahuatl-speaking tribe which was supposed to inhabit in a huge cave at the top of Cerro Cuatecomaco before moving to Xochiapulco in the lands of Hacienda La Manzanilla formerly owned by the Spanish Salgado family.
It was founded on 30 November 1855 at a location known to the locals as “Flower of the Apulco”. The name Xochiapulco is Nahuatl, Xochi “Flower” and Apulco is a river ubicated in the town.
The Cuatecomacos had extensive guerrilla experience before they joined the Mexican Republican military forces. They indigenous rebels became the Sixth Guard Regiment under the command of the legendary rebel leader General Juan Francisco Lucas.
The Cuatecomacos or Xochiapulcas participated in la Batalla del 5 de Mayo in Puebla. They were assigned to defend the exterior perimeter of Fuerte de Guadalupe. They waited quietly in the trenches. When the French columns appeared, the Xochiapulcas machete in hand fought back forcing the French retreat. Later, the Mexican cavalry chased the French up to Cerro Amalucan.
Throughout 1865, in the Sierra Norte there were several guerrilla clashes between the Austrian Legion under the command of General Franz von Thun and the Mexican indigenous guerrilla forces of General Juan Francisco Lucas. There were military actions in Zacapoaxtla, Xochiapulco, Huahuaxtla, Zautla, Taxcantla, El Ocotal Seco, and Zontecomapan.
The town of Xochiapulco was set on fire several times in order to make the Cuatecomacos surrender while the civil population fled to the mountains. In The National Museum of History, located in El Castillo de Chapultepec, there is a canvas depicting the military events which took place in Xochiapulco during 1865.
The Mexican guerrillas most liked tactic was the ambush due to the geography features of the Sierra Norte and the lack of proper firepower. Eventually, General Franz von Thun and General Juan Francisco Lucas signed a sort of peace treaty.
Nowadays, in downtown Xochiapulco there is a local history museum called Museo Comunitario Juan Francisco Lucas which displays military memorabilia such as muskets, cannons, uniforms, photos, and documents to testify the unknown glory of the Cuatecomacos.
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