The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 619
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
South Carolina and the war or the Connor and Faulk study. Moreover,
Eisenhower does not always pay careful attention to those secondary
works that he does consult. Thus there is no allusion to Jane M. Storms's
crucial role in the Beach peace mission to Mexico City, even though
Tom Reilly's article about Storms appears in the bibliography. Bursts of
American chauvinism and ethnic stereotyping do Eisenhower's reading
public no favors: Americans need not feel "excessive shame" (p. xx)
about what their country did to Mexico since European powers would
have seized chunks of Mexican territory had the U.S. shown restraint;
non-Christian California Indians were "complete savages" (p. 200);
Spanish Californians "exhibited the Mexican proclivity to be easygoing,
fun-loving, and extraordinarily hospitable" (p. 201). Still, Eisenhower's
insights compensate for his lapses. Particularly important is his re-
minder that the United States never did really effect a thorough mili-
tary conquest of Mexico-something often overlooked in books and
classrooms alike. This lucid presentation of the Mexican War triumphs
over its flaws and is a delight to read.
Miller's Shamrock and Sword, a model monograph based upon re-
search in U.S., Mexican, and English archives, clears up confusion
about one of the intriguing sidelights of the Mexican War-the role of
over two hundred American deserters (the "San Patricios") who joined
the Mexican army to fight against their former countrymen. San Pa-
tricios shot at Americans at Matamoros and in the battles of Monterrey,
Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and Churubusco. U.S. forces took eighty-
five San Patricios prisoner at Churubusco. Seventy-two of the captives
were tried for desertion. Seventy were convicted. Gen. Winfield Scott
issued pardons in five cases, and sentence reductions for fifteen others.
The rest were put to death, thirty of them by Col. William S. Harney
who had a sadistic streak and made the executions into a kind of high
drama. Miller proves that historians have overplayed the San Patricios
as Irish Catholics. He also points out that not all San Patricios were U.S.
army deserters, and that the designation "Saint Patrick's Battalion" did
not even apply to the deserters until after ratification of the peace
treaty ending the war. Furthermore, Miller's tracing of San Patricio
doings after September 1847 puts to rest notions that the military his-
tory of the deserters terminated with Churubusco. San Patricios who
escaped U.S. capture fought in the last phases of Mexico City's defense.
New deserters subsequently joined San Patricio ranks. San Patricios re-
leased from U.S. custody at the end of the war rejoined the Mexican
army. As late as July 1850, John Riley, who claimed to be the founder
of the San Patricios, was still serving in the Mexican army. Shamrock and
Sword probes why the Mexican War produced by far the highest Ameri-
can desertion rates of any war in U.S. history. Miller's subtle analysis
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/697/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.