Description

    [Luther Giddings] Sketches of the Campaign in Northern Mexico in 1846 and 47. By an Officer of the First Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. New York: George P. Putnam & Co., 1853. First edition. 12mo. xii, 336 pp. Map frontispiece, and folding plan of the city of Monterey. In an attractive Zaehnsdorf binding of light brown three-quarter morocco. Raised bands, gilt designs and lettering to spine. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Moderate foxing. Bookplate on front free endpaper. A beautiful copy of an incredibly scarce Mexican War item.

    A first-hand account of the lead-up to the Battle of Monterey (in September of 1846) and the eventual armistice signed between General Zachary Taylor and General Pedro de Ampudia. Major Luther Giddings gives an even-handed account, candidly pointing out misdeeds and cruelties on both sides. The Texan troops and Rangers don't fair well, especially concerning the incident of Ranger Captain Mabry "Mustang" Gray and his men who reportedly massacred twenty-four men in a village on the road to Monterey. "Various opinions were expressed at Monterey, about this sanguinary and merciless transaction. Many justified it by the wanton cruelties inflicted upon our countrymen near Rama, in which some of these same Mexicans were probably engaged; and for which outrages the rancheros certainly had no apology whatever. Others thought it necessary as a warning and example to the people, whom we had so long in vain endeavored to conciliate, and whom we could only intimidate by some such sudden and heavy blow. Some excused it as a result of a wild storm of passion; by the long rankling injuries of the Texans, or by the border code of 'blood for blood.' It forms one of the darkest passages in the history of the campaign; and in fact, can not be justified on the score of necessity of any kind. I would fain blot it out from these memoirs; and it is alluded to here chiefly because as an officer of that detachment, I desire to exculpate my own regiment from any participation in the atrocious deed; which future historians, in the absence of all evidence to the contrary, might perhaps charge to the entire escort."

    References:
    Howes G157. Sabin 27330.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
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