ie rexas rotier Compauies
Durig the 4exicaH War
HENRY W. BARTON
T HE UNITED STATES ARMY still takes official pride in the
Mexican War; however, that pride is well concentrated
on the achievements of the professional soldiers, espe-
cially the activities of the growing number of graduates of the
United States Military Academy. Their ardor to prove the value
of their schooling and service may be typified by the words which
Captain Philip N. Barbour, of the 3rd United States Infantry
Regiment, entered in his journal on the day after General Zachary
Taylor called on Louisiana and Texas for volunteers.
The General is then going with the remainder of the Army to
Point Isabel for supplies and expects to meet the enemy on his march
there or back. If not, he will march from here on his return to look
for him and drive him back across the Rio Bravo. This must be done
before the arrival of volunteers, or the Army is disgraced.
Two weeks later Taylor's small force of regulars, diluted only by
Samuel H. Walker's little company of Texans, won its victories
against heavy numerical odds at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.
Of the volunteers who came, there was generous admiration in
both official reports and private comments when they fought like
John C. Hays' regiment at Monterey or P. Edward Connor's
company at Buena Vista; when they were in garrison, the story
changed. Of the system by which the volunteers came to be part
of General Taylor's army, there has never been any reason to
feel pride. It seemed to provide an adequate vehicle for any
type of human frailty; exhibiting all the evils of this country's
use of the civilian soldier which General Emory Upton, forty
years later, documented in his study of the military policy of
the United States.
1Rhoda van Bibber Tanner Doubleday (ed.), Journals of the Late Brevet Major
Philip Norbourne Barbour, Captain in the 3d Regiment, United States Infantry,
and His Wife, Martha Isabelle Hopkins Barbour (New York, 1936), 47.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 13, 2014.