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Scott Steps Down, Butler Steps Up


UNITED STATES. ARMY. GENERAL ORDERS. A brace of army orders documenting the transition between Scott and Butler after the former was replaced as commander in Mexico.

[1] Headquarters of the Army, Mexico, February 18, 1848. General Orders 59. [1] [3, blank] pp. 12mo (20 x 13.5 cm), disbound. Old stitching holes in left blank margin, otherwise very good. Signed by H.L. Scott. Rare. Only one other known copy.

First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 404.

This is Scott’s last order issued as army commander in Mexico.

[2] Headquarters, Army of Mexico, Mexico, February 19, 1848. Orders No. 1. [1] [3, blank] pp. 12mo (20 x 13.5 cm), disbound. Left margin uneven, lightly foxed, otherwise very good. Signed by Lorenzo Thomas. Rare. Only one other known copy.

First edition. Eberstadt, p. 75. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 405.

This is Butler’s first order as commander. He compliments the troops and states that all Scott’s orders will remain in force.


These two orders are the result of a tangled political imbroglio that was actually playing out in the United States, mostly in President Polk’s head. Fearful of Scott’s popularity and somewhat fed up with the man, ostensibly because of his actions against fellow officers, Polk relieved Scott of his command. Scott was a Whig; Butler, like Polk, was a Democrat. Polk’s maneuvers proved futile, however, because both Scott and Butler lost their bids for high office. Interesting example of the influence of politics on military matters.


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