Saturday, October 4, 2008

Civil War Officers' Mexican-American War Letters & Diaries


Scott Entering Mexico City, Library of Congress
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My studies have taken a bit of a detour lately from the Civil War some fifteen years or so earlier to America's conflict with Mexico, 1846-1848. This past Thursday, I picked up A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign, by Timothy Johnson (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007), and I have been completely enthralled since. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I know relatively little about the Mexican-American War, so on my day off Friday I paid a visit to the Gettysburg College library determined to create a bibliography of sorts as something of a "jumping off point" for further study. I wanted to keep it rather brief, but as I began combing the shelves and raiding the bibliographies of published works, I soon found that I filled no less than ten pages with source materials. Perhaps the war is not as understudied as I previously imagined. . .
One thing that kept leaping out at me were the number of published letters and diaries kept by young Army officers who would later gain fame or notoriety during the Civil War. These young officers were quite prolific in their writings and correspondence, as if they believed they were in the midst of the adventure of their lifetimes, having no idea, of course, that they would be fighting one another a decade and a half later. Below is listing of such published works. If there are any I am missing, please let me know. . .I can't wait to dig in!
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Anderson, Robert. An Artillery Officer in the Mexican War, 1846-1847. Edited by Eba Anderson Lawton. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911.
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Beauregard, Pierre G.T. With Beauregard in Mexico: The Mexican War Reminiscences of P.G.T. Beauregard. Edited by T. Harry Williams, New York: DaCapo Press, 1969.
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Dana, Napoleon J.T. Monterrey is Ours! The Mexican War Letters of Lieutenant Dana, 1845-1847. Edited by Robert H. Ferrell. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1990.
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Heth, Henry. The Memoirs of Henry Heth. Edited by Joseph Morrison. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1974.
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Hill, Daniel H. A Fighter from Way Back: The Mexican War Diary of Lt. Daniel Harvey Hill, 4th U.S. Artillery. Edited by Nathaniel C. Hughes, Jr., and Timothy Johnson. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2002.
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Hitchcock, Ethan Allen. Fifty Years in Camp and Field: The Diary of Major General Ethan Allen Hitchcock. Edited by W.A. Croffut. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1909.
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Keyes, Erasmus D. Fifty Years' Observation of Men and Events, Civil and Military. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1884.
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Lytle, William Haines. For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle. Edited by Ruth C. Carter. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1999.
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McClellan, George B. The Mexican War Diary of General George B. McClellan. Edited by William Starr Myers. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1917.
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Maury, Dabney H. Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1884.
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Ripley, Roswell S. The War With Mexico. 2 Vols. New York: Burt Franklin, 1849.

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Smith, Edmund Kirby. To Mexico with Scott: Letters of Captain E. Kirby Smith to His Wife. Edited by Emma Jerome Blackwood. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1917.

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Smith, Gustavus W. Company "A" Corps of Engineers, USA 1846-1848, in the Mexican War. Edited by Leonne M. Hudson. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2001.

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Stevens, Isaac I. Campaigns of the Rio Grande and of Mexico. New York: D. Appleton, 1851.

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(Note: All photographs from www.generalsandbrevets.com)

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