The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

official or private papers of the brutal guerrilla war fought in northern Mexico
between the time of Buena Vista and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Nonetheless, this carefully written work is essential for understanding the life
and times of the American soldier in Mexico.
University of Texas-Pan American JOSEPH E. CHANCE
Jefferson Davis's Mexican War Regiment. By Joseph E. Chance (Jackson: University
Press of Mississippi, 1991. Pp. xiii+2 2o. Acknowledgments, introduction,
black-and-white photographs, map, illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliog-
raphy, index. $22.95.)
The Mexican War Journal of Captain Franklin Smith. Edited by Joseph E. Chance
(Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991. Pp. xv+267. Acknowledg-
ments, introduction, notes, bibliography, index. $32.50.)
Volunteers: The Mexican War Journals of Private Richard Coulter and Sergeant Thomas
Barclay, Company E, Second Pennsylvania Infantry. Edited by Allan Peskin
(Kent, Oh.: Kent State University Press, 1991. Pp. 342. Acknowledgments,
introduction, black-and-white photographs, maps, appendix, index.
$35.00.)
The Mexican War Journal and Letters of Ralph W. Kirkham. Edited by Robert Ryal
Miller (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991. Pp. xxi+141. In-
troduction, black-and-white photographs, illustrations, epilogue, notes, bib-
liography, index. $34.00.)
The Mexican Spy Company: United States Covert Operations in Mexico, x845-1848. By
A. Brooke Caruso (Jefferson: McFarland and Co., 1991. Pp. vii+175. Pref-
ace, maps, conclusion, bibliography, index. $28.50.)
The Mexican War, a relatively swift and decisive triumph of American arms be-
yond our borders, was the Operation Desert Storm of its era. Scholarly interest
in the conflict, now often called the Mexican-American War, has surged to new
heights in recent years as part of a rapidly growing fascination with American
military history. The war had a brief but profound impact upon American citi-
zens, many of whom doubted its necessity, while for the inexperienced soldiers
who invaded Mexico it was a stunning introduction to full-scale combat. A star-
tling number of these gallants resurfaced during the Civil War to play larger,
sometimes ludicrous roles.
The Mississippi Rifles, officially known as the First Mississippi Volunteer Regi-
ment, achieved a prominence few other Mexican War units could begin to
match. Commanded by the brilliant and ambitious young congressman Jefferson
Davis, the regiment was a crucial component of Zachary Taylor's army in his
northern Mexico campaign, especially at Monterrey and Buena Vista. Joseph E.
Chance's fact-filled Jefferson Davis's Mexican War Regiment offers excellent descrip-
tions of the common soldiers and their field officers, as well as demonstrating
how Davis manipulated the publicity over Taylor's victories-he was, after all,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed May 28, 2015.