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October 26, 2007

U.S. Hoists the Stars & Stripes over Mexico’s National Palace
“Stragglers will be in great danger of assassination”

183. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. UNITED STATES. ARMY. GENERAL ORDERS (Order No. 284. September 14, 1847). Headquarters of the Army, Mexico, Sept. 14, 1847. General Orders-No. 284. 1. Under the favor of God, the valor of this army, after many glorious victories, has hoisted the colors of our country in the capital of Mexico and on the palace of its government. 2. But the war is not ended. The Mexican army and government have fled only to watch an opportunity to return upon us in vengeance. We must then be upon our guard.... [at end] By command of Major General Scott. [ink signature H. L. Scott] A.A.A.G. [Mexico City], September 14, 1847. 2 pp., 12mo (21 x 13 cm), thin wove paper, top right with embossed design of French papermaker, lettered “Durandeau au Medaille d’Or 1839.” Creased where formerly folded, slightly worn and darkened, a few spots, otherwise a very good copy of a significant order.

            First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican-American War, p. 390. In Article 3 General Winfield Scott orders that Companies and Regiments remain together and on alert (“Our safety is in military discipline.”) Article 4 declares: “Let there be no drunkenness, no disorders and no straggling. Stragglers will be in great danger of assassination, and marauders shall be punished by courts martial.” Article 5 includes the admonition: “The honor of the army, and the honor of our country, call for the best behavior on the part of all. The valiant must, to win the approbation of God and country, be sober, orderly and merciful.” The sixth and final article appoints Major General Quitman to be Civil and Military Governor of Mexico.

            General John A. Quitman and his division were the first U.S. troops to penetrate the main plaza of Mexico City the morning of September 14, 1847, at approximately 7 a.m. The American flag was hoisted over the National Palace. Quitman and an engineer officer, P. G. T. Beauregard, surveyed the Palace to determine how it might be utilized in the event that Mexican forces should attack. Quitman then sent Beauregard to notify Scott and Worth, who were at Alameda, that the Palace and Grand Plaza had been taken. With the U.S. occupation of Mexico on September 14, 1847, as documented here, the military phase of the Mexican-American War ended. “This was the first and only time that our flag and ours alone has been raised over the capitol of a conquered enemy country” (Edwards S. Wallace, “The U.S. Army in Mexico City” in Military Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 3, Autumn 1949, pp. 158-166). ($500-1,000)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $587.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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