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Formation of Guerrilla Units

“One of the most unusual of Mexican War broadsides” (Eberstadt)

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[GUERRILLAS]. ADAME, Ramón. El C. Lic. Adame, Gobernador del estado libre y soberano de San Luis Potosi. A sus habitantes, sabed. [San Luis Potosí, 1847]. Dated in type April 28, 1847. [4] pp. on two sheets. Folio (30 x 20.5 cm). Old stab holes in left margin, small light stain, otherwise fine.

First edition. Eberstadt 9. Harper 12:302.

Announces a local law urging and allowing citizens to form guerrilla units. Extremely detailed instructions in 46 articles. The purpose of the units is: “El objecto exclusivo de las guerrillas es incomodar y molestar incesantemente y de todas maneras, espiar todos sus movimientos, entorpecerlos si es posible, valiéndose de cualquiera medios, interceptarla su correspondencia, tenerle siempre alerta y sobre las armas para fatigarle, y dar parte á los gefes del ejército y a las autoridades de cuanto aquel haga o emprenda” (p. [2]).

Among the numerous provisions are those covering who may join (basically anybody), what the make-up of units will be, etc. One provision states that members will not be paid but any booty captured will be considered spoils of war to be divided. Guerrillas are not to kill any captured Americans, a provision that was probably widely ignored.

The first paragraph makes it clear that the governor fears invasion by Taylor’s forces, although at this point the war in northern Mexico was basically over after the Battle of Buena Vista in February. After the war, some Mexican commentators argued that things might have gone differently if better use had been made of guerrillas.


Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $612.50.

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