Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Mexican War] Preparation for the Battle of Monterey - A Mexican Officer's Letter. Autograph Letter Signed by Nicolas Mendoza, 3pp., 8.25" x 10.5", Monterey, August 31, 1846, writing (in Spanish) to Captain Jesus de la Garza transmitting manuscript circulars and news of the military preparations at Monterey. In part: "...Political matters had taken on a very ugly aspect, since an order arrived that we abandon the Plaza and we would retreat to San Luis P. As you see, what foresight! They had us in formation to show us the order and unanimously we answered that it seemed that we didn't belong to the army that would defend Monterrey even though we knew that we would be buried in her ruins. Fortunately, the day following this news, which was the 28th, we received new arms so that we could stay in Monterrey so that we could defend it at all costs while the brigades arrived which for the second time countermarched to the interior and were returning. In effect today the 1st brigade, composed of the battalions from Queretaro, S. Luis, and Aguascalientes with their forces between them of 1,500 men... and by the 7th of next there are two other brigades expected. The imprints I enclose will advise you of present things at their origin, communiqués from the General Command here, the General in chief, Commander Gen. of Saltillo, and the latest news from Mexico City. The Americans, a minimum of 1000 men, some are in Cerralvo since the 24th, they have only 700 mules which have been having to make trips to freight the effects for food and was that they need. It is known that Taylor said he was going to make his headquarters there, On the 24th in Camargo he disarmed 1300 Texans or Americans because they wanted horses and the 26th he disarmed 400 for the same reason. It is known for certain that the forces of the enemy approach 9,000 some men from the Fronton to Cerralvo; because at said point they had to leave some troops at Matamoros, Reynosa, Camargo, Mier, and China. They would not have left Camargo, but they work according to the circumstances... Our fortifications are continuing by the same troops and I am sure that if the come they will not come out with such and advantage as in Palo Alto..." He goes on to explain the financial circumstances of the army, including the suspension of pay by General Ampudia and belief that the situation will improve when Santa Anna returns to Mexico and takes command. Included is the aforementioned military circular relaying various orders including the defense of the borderlands and the need to establish national credit in order to save it from financial ruin.

    Despite the preparations by the Mexican army, the superior artillery and fighting tactics of the American forces would result in their ceding Monterey. On September 24th, General Taylor would grant an eight week armistice allowing the Mexican army to retreat. As evident by Mendoza's letter, General Ampudia had already lost the confidence of his men. Unfortunately, Santa Anna would not provide the leadership desperately lacking.

    Numerous references are made to Mendoza in Jose Maria Roa Barcena's book Memoirs of the North American Invasion. After Monterrey, Mendoza would eventually lead his troops to the city of Mexico. He would attain the rank of General and was one of the principal leaders during the war. At the battle of Churubusco, Mendoza's troops were situated alongside Santa Anna's.

    Fabulous content letter written to a fellow officer. In fair condition with significant dampstaining and slight paper loss occurring at corners and extreme margins. Letter remains legible and content intact. Enclosed military orders certainly worthy of further research. From the Taking of Texas Collection

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 372

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 May 22 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424