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    Mexican War Archive of Four Letters by First Lieutenant Garrett Barry, Including a Detailed Description of the Battle of Monterrey. Garrett Barry of Maryland joined the U.S. Army in 1835 and rose through the ranks to become a noted infantry tactician. He served as an instructor at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, established in 1826 as the country's first Infantry School of Practice, which served as a gathering point for troops and supplies bound for service in the Mexican War, Civil War, various Indian conflicts, Spanish-American War, Philippine War, World War I and World War II. This archive contains four autograph letters signed by Barry, including:

    (1) Two pages including integral address leaf, 8" x 10", Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, April 25, 1846. Lt. Barry writes to his caretaker Joshua Hathaway, discussing family and property issues in Wisconsin Territory. Light to moderate age toning. Seal tear. Fine condition.

    (2) Two pages including integral address leaf, 8.5" x 10.75", "Camp near Monterrey, Mexico," October 27, 1846. Barry sends a brilliant letter to his caretaker Joshua Hathaway, offering a first-hand report on the action of the Battle of Monterrey. In part: "As we approached [Monterrey] on the forenoon of the 19th Sept. (Saturday) and within a mile of their largest fort they opened fire on the head of our Column. . . . We fell back to what is called St. Domingo Forest where the army encamped. . . . It was decided on Sunday morning that the preparations for attack should commence. Genl Worth with his division was ordered to take his position that afternoon for the purpose of storming the batteries on the heights. Monday morning the whole army moved to attack the other end of the town which was very strongly defended with artillery, cavalry & infantry. We had to approach on a perfectly open plain, exposed to a very heavy & deadly fire from 3 large batteries. . . . Our loss was very great and it is only surprising that as many more were not killed, for it was a complete slaughter. No one can say how he escaped. . . . The enemy was finally driven to the center of the town in the large plaza where the Cathedral was filled with a great amount of ammunition. No further place for a retreat & the fear of an explosion in the Cathedral which our troops were then in danger of doing compelled the enemy to capitulate. . . . There was very hard fighting and nothing but the stubbornness of the Americans gain them the victory. The fight lasted 3 days without intermission. Though the loss is great, still for the result it is small. The Mexicans were more than double our numbers. What will follow after their 2d defeat is impossible to say. We hope but without the slightest ground for it that negotiations for peace will ensue." Letter bears light to moderate age toning; some creases and wear along edges. Seal tear. Generally very good condition with exceptional content!

    (3) Two pages including integral address leaf, 7.75" x 9.75", Tampico Mexico, April 29, 1847. While based at Tampico, Mexico, Barry sends a friendly letter to George M. Wyse, Esq., of Maryland, discussing a variety of personal matters. He briefly touches on trade issues, stating: "The Tariff is a most abominable one and will not give us any revenue. I am astonished at Mr. Walker & Mr. Polk . . . I really thought they had more sense." Lightly age toned. Seal tear, else fine.

    (4) Two pages including integral address leaf, 8.25" x 10.75", Tampico, Mexico, February 22, 1847. In a hastily written letter to his caretaker, 1st Lt. Barry reveals that he has tendered his resignation from the Army. In part: "[I]t is in consequence of a letter received from Mrs. Barry's brother stating that she was very dangerously ill . . . and that it was necessary for me to go home as soon as possible. I did hope to see the fight at Vera Cruz as it will be done on scientific principles, but this duty to my family compels me to give it up." Occasional age toning; small seal tear. Very fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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