Kendall's War Between the United States and Mexico, a Complete Set of Plates with Text[Mexican War]. George Wilkins Kendall. The War Between The United States And Mexico Illustrated, Embracing Pictorial Drawings of All the Principle Conflicts by Carl Nebel. New York: D. Appleton & Company; Philadelphia: George S. Appleton, 1851. Elephant folio, iv, 52 pages. Printed in two columns. Engraved "Map of the Operations of the American Army in the Valley of Mexico in August and September 1847" by Erhard Schieble on page 26. With twelve illustrated plates. Textblock is bound with printed wraps, the lower corner of the front wrap is missing and lightly soiled. Text is moderately to heavily foxed in places and the edges show some minor chipping; the lower corner is bent. Text block and plates are housed in publisher's portfolio, half bound in black leather (spine has been rebuilt with pieces of the original spine covering) and green cloth over boards. Decorative gilt stamping and title on front cover. Boards are well worn and show some spots of staining. Corners and edges are bumped and the front board bows inward slightly.
Each beautifully hand-colored lithograph plate measures approximately 23" x 17" and illustrates a pivotal moment in the war. Lithographed by Adolphe Jean-Baptiste Bayot from the paintings of Carl Nebel, each image has the title written underneath and includes: "Battle of Buena Vista," depicting General Taylor's men in the foreground, with Santa Anna's massive forces of 20,000 men receding into the vast horizon; "Capture of Monterey"; "Battle of Cerro Gordo," depicting General Winfield Scott's victory over General Santa Anna; "Genl. Scott's entrance into Mexico," depicting the triumphant entrance of General Winfield Scott into Mexico City on September 14, 1847, ending major combat in the Mexican War. Here on the Grand Plaza, General Scott and his officers, escorted by American dragoons, face the national plaza which has American flag flying above; "Battle of Palo Alto," depicting the first major engagement between Mexican and American forces; "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," depicting a scene using a perspective that approaches from behind the American troops' cannon fire with American naval ships seen far back in the horizon; "Assault of Contreras," showing the heavy fighting that took place during the battle; "Battle at Churubusco," depicting a large tree, hit by mortar, dominating the foreground, dead and dying soldiers lie at its base as General Scott's troops continue their onslaught in the background; "Molino del Rey - Attack Upon the Molino," the foreground is filled with slain soldiers, including a cavalry officer who has been shot and is about to fall of his horse; "Storming of Chapultepec - Pillow's Attack," portraying the assault of General Gideon Pillow up the slopes of Chapultepec castle on September 13, 1847, the castle is seen in the background; "Storming of Chapultepec - Quitman's Attack," depicting the resistance against General John Quitman as he made his advance against the Mexican citadel Chapultepec, which can be seen looming in the background; "Molino del Rey - Attack Upon the Casa Mata," American soldiers are shown surrounding, and assaulting, the stone building of the Casa Mata.
George Wilkins Kendall (1809-1867) was a journalist who owned a New Orleans newspaper and accompanied a group of Texans on the Texan Santa Fe Expedition. He was captured by Mexican soldiers along with the rest of the group and marched 2,000 to prison in Mexico City. Along the way he kept notes and sent dispatches to his newspaper that became the basis of his book, "Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition." He returned to Mexico in 1846 as a member of Capt. Benjamin McCulloch's Texas Ranger company, acting as both soldier and war correspondent. He was at the storming Monterey and was later assigned to the staff of Gen. William J. Worth. He witnessed the landing of Taylor at Vera Cruz and took part in the Mexico City Campaign where he was wounded during the Battle of Chapultepec.
Carl Nebel (1805-1855), a German immigrant, moved to Mexico in 1829 and resided in that country for five years, all the while making a meticulous record of the Mexican people and the countryside through his art. Nebel never travelled back to Mexico during the Mexican War and, when commissioned by Kendall to paint the images for the present book, he did so using other artist's renditions of the area and Kendall's descriptions.
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