Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War

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Texas A&M University Press, May 1, 2001 - History - 288 pages
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Drawing on numerous diaries, journals, and reminiscences, Richard Bruce Winders presents the daily life of soldiers at war; links the army to the society that produced it; shares his impressions of the soldiers he "met" along the way; and concludes that American participants in the Mexican War shared a common experience, no matter their rank or place of service.

In addition to the soldiers' mundane complaints -- bad food, hard marches, and long periods of incredible boredom -- Winders discovers a political awareness among the soldiers that, with some, led to displaying their political affiliations while in uniform.

Taking a "new" military history approach, Mr. Polk's Army examines the cultural, social, and political aspects of the regular and volunteer forces that made up the army of 1846-48; presents the organizational framework of the army; and introduces the different styles of leadership exhibited by Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott.

Historians and those interested in the Mexican War and its participants will find this an important addition to nineteenth-century military history.

 

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Contents

Jacksonians at War
3
The American Military Establishment
15
Mr Polks Generals
32
The Regulars
50
The Volunteers
66
Tools of the Trade
88
Life in Mr Polks Army
113
Dog Cheap to the Living
139
The Land of the Montezumas
167
Mr Polks Army
186
A Pyrrhic Victory
202
Notes
207
Bibliography
255
Index
273
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

RICHARD BRUCE WINDERS received his Ph.D in history from Texas Christian University in 1994. He is the assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of the Mexican War as well as historian and curator of the Alamo.

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