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A Pep Talk

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[CONTRERAS, BATTLE OF]. VALENCIA, Gabriel. Gabriel Valencia á sus conciudadanos [caption title]. [Mexico City, 1847]. [1] 2-10 pp. 8vo (20.5 x 14.5 cm), modern green and black marbled wrappers. Other than tiny corrosion marks in upper blank margin, very fine. This is a rare and rather obscure battle report.

First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 166. Harper 12:348.

Dated in type Toluca, August 22, 1847. Valencia gives a first-hand report and defense on the Battle of Contreras (Padierna). He recounts the conduct of Santa-Anna, Francisco Pérez, Francisco Silva, Torrejón, José Frontera, and others. He brilliantly defends himself from the charge that the battle was lost by his disobedience and cowardice. He tells his fellow citizens not to be discouraged at the long series of defeats which they have suffered at the hands of the Americans, especially during the month of August when he is writing (Harper). (He refers to the battle of Coyoacán on August 22, 1847). This pamphlet was clearly rushed into print.

At the Battle of Contreras, Valencia refused Santa-Anna’s orders to withdraw and was subsequently surrounded by American troops and soundly defeated. Valencia, (1799-1848), a professional military officer in the Mexican Army, fought in Texas in 1836 and for a time administered the California Pious Fund.


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