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<p>Engraved title page</p>


[MONTERREY, BATTLE OF]. THORPE, Thomas Bangs. Our Army at Monterey. Being a Correct Account of the Proceedings and Events which Occurred to the “Army of Occupation” under the Command of Major General Taylor, from the Time of Leaving Matamoros to the Surrender of Monterey. With a Description of the Three Days’ Battle and the Storming of Monterey: The Ceremonies Attending the Surrender: Together with the Particulars of the Capitulation. Illustrated by a View of the City, and a Map Drawn by Lieut. Benjamin, U.S.A. By T.B. Thorpe, Author of “Our Army on The Rio Grande,” “Tom Owen, The Bee-Hunter,” etc. Philadelphia: Published by Carey and Hart, 1847. [i-ii] iii-vii [1, blank], 9-204 pp., wood-engraved frontispiece, wood-engraved title, wood-engraved plate, folded lithograph map. 12mo (18.7 x 13.5 cm), original embossed and gilt-decorated dark brown diced cloth, American eagle gilt stamped on upper cover, spine gilt lettered and dated 1848. Very slight wear to spinal extremities, overall light wear. Mild foxing to interior (heavier on endsheets and first few leaves of text); top edges of book block darkened (as in other examinied copies). Overall a most excellent copy, seldom found thus.

Illustrated title:

Our Army at Monterey. By T.B. Thorpe. [title illustration of Guard-House] Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1848. [Inside image area] Darley Del. 13 x 8.5 cm.


Monterey and Its Approaches. [Below neat line] From a Map Drawn by Lieut. Benjamin, U.S.A. and Engraved Expresly [sic] for “Our Army at Monterey.” T. Sinclair’s Lith. Phila. 17.7 x 32.5 cm. Includes legend.


[1] Entry Into Monterey. [Inside image area] Gilbert & Gihon. 9.5 x 15.6 cm. Frontispiece.

[2] City Of Monterey. In the Centre is the “Citadel;” on the Right are the Hills Confederation and Independence, on which Are Situated the “Bishop’s Palace” and other Forts; on the Left, the Forts Defending the Town. The Volunteers Approached the City between the Citadel and the Forts on the Left, the Regulars under Gen. Worth, Circuitously Moved Round to the Right. [Inside image area] Gilbert & Gihon. 9 x 15.2 cm.

First edition, second printing, with signature marks in both numbers and letters. The Library of Congress copy, which was probably the copyright deposit copy, has the date 1847 on the illustrated title page. BAL 20306. Braislin Sale 1303. Connor & Faulk 245. Garrett & Goodwin, pp. 143 & 415. Haferkorn, p. 53. Howes T235. Littell Sale 1036. Sabin 95664.

This is a companion and follow-up to the author's 1846 Our Army on the Rio Grande (q.v.). A promised continuation to the Battle of Buena Vista (p. iii) was never published. Here the author continues in much the same vein as before, leavening the serious aspects of his narrative with humor, much of it directed at Mexicans. When a party of regular troops approaches Carmago at night in a steamer, they hail a light and are surprised to be answered by a Yankee, who explains that he must be cautious: “I hail you in these parts, for I have been sleeping out some dozen nights, afraid of the treachery of the Mexicans; not that I fear them in a fair fight of a dozen or more at me at once, but I could not stand five hundred” (p. 21). In his discussion of the negotiations for the surrender of Monterrey, he opens with the observation that General Ampudia “is a large fleshy man, and his attendants were dressed in barbaric splendor,” which he takes as a contrast between the commanders that indicates a “characteristic not only of men but of the governments” (p. 85). He concludes later, “We find Ampudia the same degraded being throughout his whole history” (p. 106). In general, however, this work lacks much of the humor of its predecessor. On the other hand, it does have an ample appendix containing numerous obituaries (pp. 125-146) and official reports (pp. 147-204). Included in the obituaries is that of Texas Ranger Captain R.A. Gillespie.

His fascination with feet continues. He notes, “A Mexican woman, high or low, rich or poor, bestows all of her choicest sympathy upon her feet. To be beautiful otherwise, and yet not have small feet is but vanity and vexation of spirit; bright eyes, virtue, and mind, are all secondary.... In walking, sitting, or praying in the cathedral, the satin pointed slipper occupies the eye, and seems ever to be prominent and worthy of admiration” (p. 122).

The lithograph map by Lieutenant Calvin Benjamin delineates with typical U.S. Topographical Engineer precision Monterrey and environs, city plan, roads and trails in and out of the city, and topographical features. Letters and symbols in the legend are keyed to troop movements, landmarks, corn fields, chaparral, breast works, etc.

The engraved title is by talented artist Felix Octavius Carr Darley (1821-1888), generally considered the best known and most popular nineteenth-century United States illustrator (see Groce & Wallace, p. 165; Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers I, pp. 101-116; and Samuels, Artists of the American West, pp. 122-123). During his highly successful career that spanned more than four decades, Darley illustrated the works of Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and many others.


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