A Chronological Bibliography:The Mexican American War, 1846-1848
A selected chronological bibliography of secondary sources in English on the Mexican-American War with abstracts of articles from Historical Abstracts and various journals
Foos, Paul. A Short Offhand, Kililng Affair: Soldiers and Social Conflict during the Mexican-American War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.
Olquín, B. V. "Sangre Mexicana/Corazon Americano: Identity, Ambiguity, and Critique in Mexican-American War Narratives." American Literary History 14/1 (2002): 83-114.
Rathbun, Lyon. "The Debate over Annexing Texas and the Emergence of Manifest Destiny." Rhetoric & Public Affairs 4/3 (Fall 2001): 459-493.
Schafer, Rollie, "Finding the Way and Fixing the Boundary: The Science and Art of Western Map Making," Military History of the West 31/1 Spring 2001.
Abstract: The accounts of U.S. Army topographers clearly illustrate the techniques and technology used in the field to determine longitude and latitude precisely, the foundation of accurate map making. Because William H. Emory's detailed observational notes, including raw data, were published as appendices to his narratives, we can assess his topographical accomplishments quantitatively and compare them to those of his contemporaries and to modern standards. This paper describes the technology and methods used by the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers during the Mexican War period and the challenges the engineers faced in making accurate scientific measurements in the field.
Gabbert, Ann R. "'They Die Like Dogs': Disease Mortality Among U.S. Forces during the U.S.-Mexican War." Military History of the West 31/1 (Spring 2001).
Abstract: During the U.S.-Mexican War, high disease mortality resulted from factors in addition to the state of medical knowledge. In many regiments, established rules for military hygiene were disregarded due to disdain for formal training and professionalism, a characteristic of Jacksonian-era egalitarianism.
Thompson, Jerry. "Winfield Scott's Army of Occupation as Pioneer Alpinists: Epic Ascents of Popocatepelt and Citlaltepetl." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 105/4 (2002): 548-581.
Abstract: The Mexican War gave Americans their first opportunity to ascend the third and fifth highest mountains on the North American continent. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors climbed Popacatépetl and Citlaltépetl (Orizaba), and in the early 19th century, the British and Prussians also endeavored to make the ascent. In 1848, the men of Winfield Scott's army of occupation probably became the first men to reach the highest points on both peaks.
Bratzel, John F."History, Culture, and the Mexican-American War:Robert Lewis Taylor's 'Two Roads to Guadalupe'."Journal of Popular Culture 35/2 (Fall 2001):51-59.
Frahm, Sally. "The Cross and the Compass: Manifest Destiny, Religious Aspects of the Mexican-American War."Journal of Popular Culture 35/2 (Fall 2001): 83-99.
King, Rosemary."Border Crossings in the Mexican American War." Bilingual Review 25/1 (January-April 2001): 63-85.
Francaviglia, Richard V. and Douglas W. Richmond, eds. Dueling Eagles: Reinterpreting the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846-1848. Center for Southwestern Studies, University of Texas at Arlington, 2000. 191 pp.
Buchanan, Patrick J. "Jimmy Polk's War." National Interest 56 (1999): 97-105.
Abstract: Examines Texas's struggle for independence from Mexico during 1835-36, the US decision to annex Texas, and the subsequent war between Mexico and the United States (1846-48) declared by President James K. Polk after Mexican troops crossed into Texas.
Crawford, Mark. Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War. Publication: Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1999. 350 pp.
Kendall, George Wilkins. Dispatches from the Mexican War. Edited and with an introduction by Lawrence Delbert Cress. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999. 448 pp.
Arnold, Linda. "Too Few Ships, Too Few Guns, and Not Enough Money: The Mexican Navy, 1846-1848." Northern Mariner/Le Marin de Nord [Canada] IX/2 (April/Avril 1999): 1-10.
Abstract: Despite having limited financial and material resources, Mexican naval and coastal defense forces between 1846 and 1848 prolonged the war with the United States. Although the Mexican fleet was entirely lost during the war, effective blockade running, encouragement of contraband trade, and guerrilla warfare raised the cost of American occupation and contributed positively to the terms of the 1848 treaty under which Mexico was able to maintain its sovereignty.
Adamiak, Stanley J. "American Naval Logistics During the Mexican War, 1846-1848." Military History of the West 28/1 (Spring 1998): 1-18.
Abstract: Logistics played an important and often overlooked role in shaping American naval operations during the Mexican War. Despite initial difficulties, the new bureau system provided provisions, stores, and coal for steamers, yet the commanders of the Gulf and Pacific squadrons still had to take initiatives to alleviate shortcomings and overcome the problems of distance and poor communications.
Denham, James M. and keith L. Huneycutt, eds. "With Scott in Mexico: Letters of Captain James W. Anderson in the Mexican War, 1846-1847." Military History of the West 28/1 (Spring 1998).
Abstract: Captain James W. Anderson served under General Winfield Scott in the Mexican War (1846-47). Anderson's letters to his wife include impressions of Mexican culture and social life. They also recount his experiences in the battles of Monterrey, Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, and Contreras, the occupation of Jalapa, and the army's final thrust toward Mexico City.
Dawson, Joseph G., III. "'Zealous for Annexation': Volunteer Soldiering, Military Government, and the Service of Colonel Alexander Doniphan in the Mexican-American War." Military History of the West 27/2 (Fall 1997).
Abstract: During the Mexican-American War, Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan and his Missouri volunteer regiment helped to fulfill U.S. strategic goals. They captured New Mexico, and Doniphan supervised the first American military government in captured enemy territory. Subsequently, Doniphan's campaign into the state of Chihuahua contributed to the U.S. cordon offensive of 1847.
Dawson, Joseph G., III. "'American Xenophon,' American Hero: Alexander Doniphan's Homecoming from the Mexican-American War as a Hallmark of Patriotic Fervor," Military History of the West 27/1 (Spring 1997): 1-33.
Abstract: Using parades and speeches, Americans have long celebrated the homecoming of military veterans. During and after the Mexican-American War, several cities and states lavished recognition on their returning soldiers. Leading the list of such receptions was one in 1847 held at St. Louis for Alexander Doniphan and his Missouri Volunteers, a remarkable display of nationalism and patriotism.
Gardner, Mark L. and Simmons, Marc, ed. The Mexican War Correspondence of Richard Smith Elliott. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. 292 pp.
Denham, James M. and Huneycutt, Keith L. "With Scott in Mexico: Letters of Captain James W. Anderson in the Mexican War, 1846-1847." Military History of the West 28/1 (Spring 1998): 19-48.
Abstract: Captain James W. Anderson served under General Winfield Scott in the Mexican War, 1846-47. Anderson's letters to his wife include impressions of Mexican culture and social life. They also recount his experiences in the battles of Monterrey, Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, and Contreras, the occupation of Jalapa, and the army's final thrust toward Mexico City.
Santoni, Pedro. "The Failure of Mobilization: The Civic Militia of Mexico in 1846." Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 12/2 (1996): 169-194.
Abstract: Examines how regional, social, and ideological differences impeded the organization of the Mexican militia at the start of the war with the United States. Conservative politicians and the army distrusted the militia, which they unfavorably associated with liberalism and federalism. Even moderate liberals feared the possible domestic consequences of mobilizing the lower classes against the invaders. The militia battalions which were organized divided along political lines. Rival liberal militias even clashed in October 1846. Consequently, the militia was ill-prepared to contribute to Mexico City's defense.
Colcleugh, M. Bruce. "La Invasión Yanqui: The Crucible of Elite Nationalism in Mexico." Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism [Canada] 24/1-2 (1997): 1-11.
Abstract: Examination of contemporary political writings, press editorials, and pamphlets suggests that the view that Mexico was weakened by internal division in its 1846 war with the United States is mistaken. Most elites and intellectuals were united in support of military opposition to US expansionism; the American threat sparked an intense nationalism, as had previous attempted invasions by the French and Spanish. Mexican military capability was more highly regarded by foreign observers than was the American; victory by the United States was not as assured as has recently been supposed.
Frazier, Donald S. The United States and Mexico at War: Nineteenth-Century Expansionism and Conflict. Publication: New York: Macmillan, 1998. 584 pp.
Haecker, Charles M. "Brazito Battlefield: Once Lost, Now Found." New Mexico Historical Review 72/3 (1997): 229-238.
Abstract: Details the efforts of the author and others to locate the exact site of the 25 December 1846 battle of Brazito, a brief conflict between Missouri troops under Alexander Doniphan and Mexican forces. Historical and archaeological evidence point to a site near the town of Mesquite, New Mexico, ten miles south of Las Cruces.
Mangum, Neil C. "The Battle of Brazito: Reappraising a Lost and Forgotten Episode in the Mexican-American War." New Mexico Historical Review 72/3 (1997): 217-228.
Abstract: Brief account of the battle of Brazito in New Mexico, which was fought between Missouri troops under Alexander Doniphan and Mexican regulars and militia on 25 December 1846. The thirty-minute battle, won by the Americans, was significant in giving the United States legal claim to New Mexico and probably helped shorten the Mexican-American War.
Haeker, Charles M. On the Prairie of Palo Alto: Historical Archaeology of the U.S.-Mexican War Battlefield. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1997. 227 pp.
DePalo, William A., Jr. The Mexican National Army, 1822-1852. College Station: Texas A&M Univeristy Press, 1997. 280 pp.
Santori, Pedro. Mexicans at Arms: Federalists and the Politics of War, 1845-1848. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996. 323 pp.
Colcleugh, Malcolm Bruce. "War-Time Portraits of the Gringo: American Invaders and the Manufacture of Mexican Nationalism." Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 6 (1995): 81-101.
Abstract: The 1846 American invasion of Mexico sparked an intensely nationalist response among members of Mexico's liberal and conservative intelligentsia. To rally the nation to the cause, Mexican intellectuals constructed and presented to the Mexican masses frightful, negative caricatures and stereotypes of the invading Americans. An abject race of vile and perfidious usurpers, Anglo-Saxon invaders were, the intelligentsia warned, intent on the spoliation of Mexico and the enslavement of its people. If not stopped by a vigorous prosecution of the war, they warned, the greedy and cruel heretics from the north would soon descend over the whole nation, raping Mexico's daughters along the way and desecrating its holy shrines. Disseminated through newspapers, political pamphlets, and broadsides, it was against such caricatures that the allegedly positive features of the Mexican identity were defined and delineated. Against the dark and fiendish stereotypes of the Americans stood, in stark and powerful contrast, the moral and benevolent Mexicans. Where the American caricature evoked the image of a marauding, degenerate infidel, the Mexican portraiture called forth the image of an upright, generous defender. While the Americans fought because of their greed, the Mexicans, it was maintained, resisted for the honor of their families, their Church, and their motherland.
Dawson, Joseph G., III. "'Zealous for Annexation': Volunteer Soldering, Military Government, and the Service of Colonel Alexander Doniphan in the Mexican-American War." Journal of Strategic Studies [Great Britain] 19/4 (1996): 10-36.
Abstract: Follows the Mexican War career of Alexander Doniphan (1808-87) to show the expansionist outlook in vogue in the United States during the 1840's. Doniphan was the commander of the 1stMissouri Regiment and, after the capture of Santa Fe, had military government responsibilities in New Mexico. His successful El Paso-Chihuahua campaign built up the reputation of the American volunteer army officer. He contributed administratively and strategically to the US war effort against Mexico.
McCaffrey, James M., ed.; transcribed by George Sanders "America's First D-Day: The Veracruz Landing of 1847." Military History of the West 25/1: (Fall 1995): 51-68.
Abstract: The United States Army-Navy assault on Veracruz, Mexico, in 1847 was the first large-scale amphibious landing on a hostile shore ever attempted by American forces. First Lieutenant William Austine, adjutant of the Third U.S. Artillery, was a member of the expedition and here provides an interesting and revealing first-person account of it.
McCaffrey, James M. "Santa Anna's Greatest Weapon: The Effect of Disease on the American Soldier During the Mexican War" Military History of the West 24/1 (Fall 1994).
Abstract: Like all American wars before the mid-twentieth century, the Mexican War saw more soldiers die of disease than of hostile action. Lack of concern for personal hygiene, the inexact state of medical education, and the occasional shortage of medicines all contributed to the death toll.
McCaffrey, James M. "Wearing Army Blue (and Green, and Red, and Gray . . .) During the Mexican War." Military History of the West 23/1 (Spring 1993): 39-45.
Abstract: Volunteers for the Mexican War asserted their individualism by their uniforms. Volunteer militias and regiments could choose their own uniforms, and most groups wanted to contrast as much as possible with regular army wear. When privately purchased clothing wore out during the war, it was difficult to replace.
Goffin, Aivin M. "Nationalism and Mexican Interpretations of the War of the North American Invasion, 1846-1848." Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism [Canada] 19/1-2 (1992): 129-138.
Abstract: Examines Mexican interpretations of the 1846-48 war with the United States during and following the conflict and by 20th-century Mexican writers. For Mexico, the war was a disgrace resulting in a loss of half its territory. It has been perceived as an imperialist invasion by the United States, though some later writers also blamed the Mexican government. The war began an anti-American tradition which has been fueled by every new intervention in Mexico and Latin America, but it also provided a focal point around which Mexicans could rally and provided an opportunity for self-examination and the impetus for the growth of a strong national identity.
Gardiner, Mark L., ed. Brothers on the Santa Fe and Chihuahua Trails: Edward James Glasgow and William Henry Glasgow, 1846-1848. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1993. 229 pp.
Miller, Robert Ryal, ed. The Mexican War Journal and Letters of Ralph W. Kirkham. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991. 141 pp.
Smith, Robert P., Jr. "Impossible Campaign Attempted." Military History 10/1 (Spring 1993): 34-41, 92-96.
Abstract: Details the successful amphibious assault upon the Mexican town of Veracruz in 1847 by American forces under the command of Major General Winfield Scott. The landing was the first phase in the campaign to capture Mexico City, considered by President James Polk as imperative to end the Mexican-American War.
Traas, Adrian George. From the Golden Gate to Mexico City: The U.S. Army Topographical Engineers in the Mexican War, 1846-1848. Washington, D.C.: Office of History, Corps of Engineers and Center of Military History, United States Army, 1992
Bennett, Charles, ed. "A Letter from the Mexican War." Military History of the West 20/2 (Fall 1990): 182-195.
Abstract: Letter from Brigadier General Stephen Watts Kearney, commander of the Army of the West, to his wife on 19 December 1846, recounting his health, military victories, and family news. He tells of the battle of San Pasqual and his march from Santa Fe to San Diego. He instructs her in family business matters.
Holt, Thaddeus. "Checkmate at Mexico City." MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 2/3 (1990): 82-93.
Abstract: Details General Winfield Scott's conduct of the Mexican War during his 1847 campaign to capture Mexico City and crush the Mexican army under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
Robinson, Cecil, ed., transl. The View from Chapultepec: Mexican Writers on the Mexican-American War. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989. 223 pp.
Contents: "Considerations relating to the political and social situation of the Mexican Republic in the year 1847,"; Mariano Otero; "Memories of the North American Invasion, from vols. I and II," José María Roa Bárcena; "The New Bernal Díaz del Castillo," Carlos María de Bustamente; "The Future of Mexico," Luis Gonzaga Cuevas; "Observations on the Treaty of Guadalupe," Manuel Crescencio Rejón; "An Address in support of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo," Manuel De La Peña y Peña; "The Great Lies of Our History," Francisco Bulnes; "The tragedy of California," José Vasconcelos; "North America in the Hispanic American Consciousness," Leopoldo Zea; "Poinsett, the Ttory of a Great Intrigue," José Fuentes Mares; "History of the relations between Mexico and the United States: The basis of the Foreign Policy of the United States," Carlos Bosch García; "Mexicans and North Americans on the War of 47," Josefina Zoraida Vázquez.
Sanweiss, Martha A. et al. Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848.Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1989. 367 pp.
Eisenhower, John S. D. So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848. New York: Random, 1989. 440 pp.
May, Robert E. "Invisible Men: Blacks and the U.S. Army in the Mexican War." Historian 49/4 (1987): 463-477.
Abstract: Although their presence has been generally ignored, blacks contributed significantly to the US military effort during its war with Mexico. A small number served as soldiers, while most worked as personal servants to white army officers and were given camp duty or other noncombatant assignments. Many risked and lost their lives, even when they were not formally enrolled as soldiers. Despite their contribution, most blacks who returned from the war came back as "invisible men" and received little recognition or attention for the role they played.
Gallagher, Gary W., ed. "'We are our Own Trumpeters': Robert E. Lee Describes Winfield Scott's Campaign to Mexico City." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 95/3 (1987): 363-375.
Abstract: On 2 October 1847, Captain Robert E. Lee explained his role in the Mexican War in a letter to his West Point classmate and close friend, John Mackay. The letter offers insights into Lee's character and attitudes after his first taste of field service.
Sanchez, Joseph P. "General Mariano Arista and the Battle of Palo Alto, Texas, 1846: Military Realist or Failure?" Journal of the West 24/2 (1985): 8-21.
Abstract: Summarizes the battle of Palo Alto, Texas, in 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican War, and evaluates the military strategy of Mexican General Mariano Arista. A Mexican board of inquiry heard charges leveled by Arista's subordinates that Arista's mismanagement of his troops led to Mexico's defeat at the hands of the smaller US army, led by General Zachary Taylor. Arista defended himself, arguing that his troop alignment and deployment followed a sound battle plan and that his retreat caused the US army to lose their advantage. Finally, in 1848, the Supreme Tribunal of War granted Arista vindication from all charges.
Johannsen, Robert W. To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Amero, Richard W. "The Mexican-American War in Baja California." Journal of San Diego History 30/1 (1984): 49-64.
Abstract: After 18 months of fighting, US military forces succeeded in gaining control of the Baja California peninsula, but by the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848, the United States did not retain possession of Lower California.
Ramage, James A. "John Hunt Morgan and the Kentucky Cavalry Volunteers in the Mexican War." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 81/4 (1983): 343-365.
Abstract: John Hunt Morgan volunteered for service in Company K of the 1st Regiment of Kentucky Mounted Volunteers in 1846, and was soon promoted to second in command. Facingproblems of discipline, illness, and lack of supplies, the Kentuckians moved into northern Mexico, where they participated in the battle of Buena Vista. Morgan gained confidence and learned much from his experiences in the Mexican War, but he failed to learn to instill discipline among his troops.
McAfee, Ward and Robinson, J. Cordell. Origins of the Mexican War: A Documentary Source Book. Salisbury, N.C.: Documentary, 1982.
Tutorow, Norman E., comp. and ed. The Mexican-American War: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1981.
Graebner, Norman A. "The Mexican War: A Study in Causation." Pacific Historical Review 49/3 (1980): 405-426.
Abstract: United States claims against Mexico and the Texas boundary dispute did not justify war in 1846. President Polk's exertion of military and diplomatic pressure on Mexico was intended to further negotiations, but the John Slidell mission produced a crisis. Fearing American encroachments at the Rio Grande and in Upper California, Mexico sought British protection. Great Britain advised Mexican restraint in relations with the United States. Dreading war, Mexico outwardly displayed belligerence, but didnot endanger US security. The presence of General Taylor's forces on the Rio Grande opposite the Mexican village of Matamoros triggered the war. Polk's desire to acquire California necessitated the employment of power.
Lander, Ernest McPherson, Jr. Reluctant Imperialists: Calhoun, the South Carolinians, and the Mexican War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980. 190 pp.
Blevins, Don. "The Forgotten Peacemaker, Nicholas Trist." American History Illustrated 14/3 (1979): 4-8, 42-47.
Abstract: Describes the efforts and success of Nicholas Trist in obtaining approval of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War in 1848.
Berg, Richard and Balkoski, Joe. "Veracruz: U.S. Invasion of Mexico, 1847." Strategy and Tactics 63 (1977): 4-18.
Abstract: Discusses invasion plans, tactics of offense and defense in the strategy of the US Army in their invasion of Mexico, 1847-48; discusses the Mexican command and the siege of Veracruz followed by the inland march to Mexico City.
Mullins, William H. "The British Press and the Mexican War: Justin Smith Revised." New Mexico Historical Review 52/3 (1977): 207-227.
Abstract: The English government sought to ignore the war between the United States and Mexico, 1846-48. Individuals in England, however, took a great interest in the Mexican War as they thought the United States was the aggressor. In 1914 Justin Smith wrote a history of the Mexican War based chiefly on information found in British newspapers. The war was also discussed in the British Parliament. In general the British looked upon the United States as the aggressor. The newspapers in Great Britain considered the acquisition of California to be the chief objective of the United States.
Pletcher, David M. The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and The Mexican War. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973.
Houston, Donald E. "The Role of Artillery in the Mexican War." Journal of the West 11/2 (1972): 273-284.
Abstract: Analyzes the tactical use of artillery in major battles during the Mexican War, 1846-48. The recently adopted light, highly mobile weapons, called "flying" artillery, proved very effective in delivering timely and accurate fire, paving the way for American victory.
Oates, Stephen B. "Los Diablos Tejanos: The Texas Rangers in the Mexican War." Journal of the West 9/4 (1970): 487-504.
Abstract: Records the exploits of the Texas Rangers in the Mexican War (1846-48), and describes a series of encounters between the Rangers and the Mexicans. Their personal courage and reckless daring against the enemy was offset by uncontrollable brawling and unprovoked atrocities perpetrated in the towns and among the people. Their general indisposition to obey orders made them a problem to the US military command. Most studies of the Texas Rangers omit this side of the picture, not yet ready to admit that in war man could strip himself "of all compassion, all diplomacy, and fight with uninhibited fury, as the violent nature of his soul dictated.
Nelson, Anna Kasten. "Mission to Mexico - Moses Y. Beach, Secret Agent." New York Historical Society Quarterly 59/3 (1975): 226-245.
Abstract: Moses Y. Beach served as a secret agent for President James K. Polk in Mexico for a brief time during the Mexican War. Accompanied by the remarkable Jane McManus Storms, who had been an editorial writer for Beach's newspaper, the New York Sun, he spent considerable time in contact with the Mexican authorities in an attempt to bring about a peace. Polk said in his diary that Beach had given him valuable information.
Bauer, Jack. The Mexican War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1974.
Schroeder, John H. Mr. Polk's War:American Opposition and Dissent, 1846-1848. Madison:University of Wisconsin Press, 1973.
Davis, William C. "Victory at Monterrey." American History Illustrated 5/5 (1970): 12-23.
Abstract: Considers the capture of Monterrey during the Mexican War the worst battle of Zachary Taylor's career, saved only by the action of William Jenkins Worth.
Larner, John William, Jr., ed. "A Westmoreland Guard in Mexico, 1847-1848: The Journal of William Joseph McWilliams." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 52/3 (1969): 213-240 and 52(4): 387-413.
Abstract: Diary of a Mexican War volunteer from his enlistment in Company E of The Second Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in early 1847 to his return home in 1848. Covers the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, and Chapultepec as well as everyday life and events during the occupation of Mexico City.
Scheina, Robert L. "Seapower Misused: Mexico at War, 1846-1848." Mariner's Mirror [Great Britain] 57/2 (1971): 203-214.
Abstract: Discusses the activities of the Mexican Navy during the Mexican-American war. Argues that while Mexican naval forces were small, the materiel was good, and the personnel efficient. The administration, however, was not; as the war began, the most modern and powerful vessels in the Mexican navy were sold. Other ships assigned to services not really compatible with their designed functions were later blockaded in port. Some naval personnel helped defend Vera Cruz, but argues that they were misused there. Privateering was not successful, though efforts at blockade-running met with modest success.
Tyler, Ronnie C. "The Rangers at Zaculatipan." Texana 4/4 (1966): 341-350.
Abstract: An account of the final engagement of the War with Mexico for Colonel John Coffee Hays' Texas Rangers, on 25 February 1848. In the town of Zacualtipan, 140 miles north of Mexico City, Hays' force of about 380 encountered the Mexican guerrilla band of Padre Jarauta, inflicting large numbers of casualties and effectively pacifying the area. Composed principally of reports of the engagement, written by Colonel Hays, Major William H. Polk, a cavalry commander, and Major Alfred M. Truett, commander of a small mounted attack force. Notes the special effectiveness of the Colt revolver in this engagement.
Brack, Gene M. "Mexican Opinion, American Racism, and the War of 1846." Western Historical Quarterly 1/2 (1970): 161-174.
Abstract: Mexican officials were aware of the inadequacy and weakness of the nation's army and the emptiness of the treasury in the 1840's. They believed that Texas could not be recovered, that it was in the best interests of Mexico to preserve peace, and that war with the United States would be disastrous. Public opinion, however, was hostile to the United States and opposed theceding of territory - the alternative to war. Mexicans closely related American expansionism to racism, being aware of the state of the Indian and Negro in the United States. Knowing that Americans looked upon Mexicans as inferior, they feared the loss of Texas and California, as well as of other Mexican territory which would soon follow. They felt that Mexican culture would be in jeopardy. For two decades the press had fed Mexicans a steady diet of American racism. The cumulative effect was a public opinion so rigidly opposed to American expansion that it forced Mexico into a war in 1846 that would not likely be won.
Driver, Les. "Carrillo's Flying Artillery: The Battle of San Pedro." California Historical Society Quarterly 48/4 (1969): 335-349.
Abstract: An account of the battle between the Mexican Californian forces under Jose Maria Flores and Jose Antonio Carrillo, and a combined army-navy American force commanded by Captains Archibald H. Gillespie and William Mervine. Appointed head of the Los Angeles garrison, Gillespie had outraged the citizenry by arbitrary and harsh rule. The Californios rebelled in the last week of September 1846; Gillespie's troops were compelled to capitulate and leave Los Angeles, going on board a merchant ship in San Pedro Harbor. On 6 October the frigate Savannah arrived, captained by Mervine. Two hundred and ninety-nine assorted marines, sailors, riflemen, and volunteers were then landed. In the hours that followed, this force was continually harassed by the Californios, who inflicted a number of casualties on the Americans through their use of cavalry and cannon-fire. The Americans yielded the field to the Californios, who picked up baggage, supplies, and a battle flag from the battlefield. News of this victory brought General Stephen W. Kearny and his force to California, and to a similar fate at San Pascual. Historians who belittle Mexican fighting ability in the Mexican-American War are cautioned by the author to consider the California experience.
Merk, Frederick. "Dissent in the Mexican War." Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings 81 (1969): 121-136.
Abstract: Reprinted from Dissent in Three American Wars [Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1970]. Concentrates chiefly on political opposition to the Mexican War with some reference to the dissent of literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and James Russell Lowell. The political dissenters included conservative Whigs who criticized President James Knox Polk but voted supplies for the prosecution of the war; "conscience" Whigs and radical Democrats convinced that the administration hoped to spread slavery over all Mexico and Central America; and Southern Democrats such as John Caldwell Calhoun, who doubted that cause for war existed. Concludes that the dissent prevented the treaty of peace with Mexico from being even harsher than it was.
Brent, Robert A. "Mississippi and the Mexican War." Journal of Mississippi History 31/3 (1969): 202-214.
Abstract: Describes various aspects of the Mississippi relation to the Mexican War, including its original strong support for war, prewar attitudes of Mississippi newspapers, the policies of Mississippi Governor Albert Gallatin Brown, Mississippi officers in the war (notably Jefferson Davis and John Anthony Quitman), and attitudes regarding peace terms (much support for acquiring all of Mexico but a sharp split regarding the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, with the Whig press supporting it while Democratic newspapers argued that the United States was not getting enough territory). Mississippians almost unanimously favored war because of support for Manifest Destiny and the belief that war was "an ideal way to expand slave territory."
Costeloe, Michael P. "Church-State Financial Negotiations in Mexico During the American War, 1846-1847." Revista de Historia de América [Mexico] 60 (1965): 91-123.
Abstract: The Mexican government, hard-pressed for funds, found itself in desperate straits at the outbreak of a war with the United States. Having no national banking system, the administration resorted to the services of financial speculators for sale of bonds and expected Church money and property to serve as security for government bonds. Church officials regularlyprotested that liquid funds were not available in sums large enough to meet public needs, and confidential Church correspondence sustains their position. However, Church officials made loans under threat of confiscation. They were active in negotiations, both with speculators and with government authorities, but lack of a coordinated plan of public financing brought loss both to the State and the Church. The private speculators and certain government officials seem to have fared very well.
Davies, Thomas M., Jr. "Assessments During the Mexican War: An Exercise in Futility." New Mexico Historical Review 41/3 (1966): 197-216.
Abstract: Traces the attempts by President Polk, acting through his military commanders, to force Mexico to pay part of the cost of Mexican War. Althoughnumerous plans were tried, including control of customs, taxes, and the mint, the total amount raised was only 3,935,676 dollars.
Hale, Charles A. "The War with the United States and the Crisis in Mexican Thought." The Americas14/2 (1957): 153-173.
Abstract: Describes the "great debate" between Mexican liberals and conservatives that followed defeat by the United States, citing the views expressed by newspapers and other publications. The relative intellectual lethargy of the immediate prewar period was replaced by vigorous crusadingin which liberals reemphasized their former programs for political and social reform, especially at the expense of the Church, while conservatives increasingly embraced monarchy as a panacea for national ills.
Ruhlen, G. "Kearney's Route From the Rio Grande to the Gila River." New Mexico Historical Review 32/3 (1957): 213-230.
Abstract: Reconstructs the route of the Army of the West across southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona in 1846. The author found that the Army actually crossed the Mimbres Mountains south of the pass long considered the one used. Historians have previously accepted at face value the readings of longitude and latitude recorded by the Army, but they have failed to take into consideration the admitted inaccuracies of the Army's surveying and navigational instruments.