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Thinning the Ranks

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[MEXICAN ARMY]. MEXICO. LAWS. Ministerio de Guerra y Marina. Seccion Central. Mesa Tercera [caption title]. [Querétaro, 1847]. [1] 2-13 [3] pp. 8vo (21 x 14 cm), contemporary lilac wrappers, stitched. Spine slightly separated. Contemporary ink notations. Very fine.

First edition. Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.

Dated in type Querétaro, November 5, 1847. After a long prologue in which Peña y Peña cites the reduced condition of the army and the country follows a law in fifteen articles ordering the reorganization of the army due to the deplorable situation in the Republic and its effect on the inhabitants. This law is aimed primarily at officers rather than common soldiers and guarantees them certain rights if they should decide to leave the army: “A los que se concedia licencia ilimitada, por estar comprendidos en los casos en el articulo anterior, se les asigna el sueldo que han de disfrutar en las proporciones siguentes: á los que tengan treinta años de servicio, toda la page de su empleo; à los que veinticinco, las dos terceras partes; á los que veinte, la mitad; y á los que quince la tercera parte. A los demás la cuarta parte” (pp. 7-8).

Issued right after the fall of Mexico to the Americans when the futility of their position was becoming apparent to them. In many ways, this law is hollow because Mexico was basically broke and had no sources of income. It seems to also reflect Peña y Peña’s belief that continued resistance is futile.


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