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|75. TYLER, Daniel
(1816-1906). A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion
in the Mexican War. 1846-1847. [Salt Lake City: Privately printed],
1881 .  376 pp. 8vo, original blindstamped purple sheep, gilt-lettered
and decorated spine. Spine faded, fragile sheep binding rubbed and
chafed, front endpaper with a few stains, internally fine and bright,
overall near fine.
First edition “of the earliest book on the famous battalion” (Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 75). Cowan I, p. 234. Cowan II, p. 648. Edwards, Enduring Desert, p. 239. Flake 9063. Garrett, The Mexican-American War, p. 181. Graff 4226. Hill, p. 296. Howell 50, California 883. Howes T447. Norris 4037. NYPL Mormon List, p. 224. Rocq 7523. Streeter Sale 2314. Tutorow 3345n. Walgren, The Scallawagiana Hundred: A Selection of the Hundred Most Important Books about the Mormons and Utah 70. Zamorano 80 #75 (J. Gregg Layne): “The earliest and probably the best book on the famous Mormon Battalion of the Mexican War.... Many of [the Battalion’s] members remained in California and became outstanding citizens.” ($750-1,500)
Sergeant Daniel Tyler’s narrative has long been considered the authoritative
work on this heroic battalion of Mormon volunteers. The battalion,
numbering about five hundred men, was organized at Council Bluffs,
Iowa, in July 1846. Tyler himself was a member of Company C. After
reaching Santa Fe, New Mexico, and under the leadership of Lt. Colonel
Philip St. George Cooke, they headed to California following the Gila
River. They experienced, as reflected in Tyler’s vividly written account,
a journey filled with unbelievable hardship. Thirst, starvation, heat,
and freezing cold were their constant companions. Persevering, they
made it to Warner’s Ranch and then to San Diego in January 1847.
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: David L. Bigler & Will Bagley, editors, Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives (Spokane: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2000), pp. 439-43; Harold Schindler, Introduction to A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, 1846-1847 (Glorieta: The Rio Grande Press, Inc., 1969).