[TAYLOR, ZACHARY]. Life of General Taylor from the Best Authorities. New York: Nafis and Cornish; St. Louis, Mo.: Nafis, Cornish & Co., 1847. [1-5] 6-256 pp., 10 woodcut plates (counted as part of pagination), lithograph frontispiece and title on heavy paper with beautiful contemporary hand-color. 32mo (11.7 x 8 cm), original brown gilt-decorated embossed cloth, spine gilt lettered and decorated. Except for fading to cloth, overall fine. With pencil signature of Flora D. Todd on front pastedown. Very rare. No copies at auction or on OCLC.
First edition? of a work that seems to have been reprinted numerous times in various forms. Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.
A highly flattering view of Taylor and his campaign. Four of the plates depict action in Texas at Fort Brown and Resaca de la Palma and the death of Major Ringgold. Extensive discussion of that phase of the war is also included. The book closes with a discussion of the Battle of Buena Vista that includes some rather grim passages and proves the author is no friend of Mexico: “Our wounded men, who could not get from the field, were all, to a man, even Lieutenant-Colonel Clay, vilely massacred, robbed, and left naked, while the enemy’s wounded were left for us to gather into our hospitals, which has been done, the general having given orders that the senior surgeon, Dr. Hitchcock, shall have everything he calls for for their service.... These Mexican fight well—they are brave to the death, but they are ignorant, they are savage, low, and guilty of great barbarity. They murder men (who hold up a white flag) that they may strip them of their clothes and rob them of their money, &c.” (pp. 243 and 252-253).