[UNITED STATES NAVY]. WOOD, William Maxwell. Wandering Sketches of People and Things in South America, Polynesia, California, and Other Places Visited, during a Cruise on Board of the U.S. Ships Levant, Portsmouth and Savannah. Philadelphia: Published by Carey & Hart, 1849. [i-v] vi-x,  14-386 pp. 8vo (19.5 x 13.5 cm) original brown blind-embossed cloth. Spine ends chipped, binding rubbed, poor, and faded. Scattered light to moderate foxing, slightly shaken.
First edition. Forbes 1763. Hill I, p. 621; II, 1910. Howes W646. O’Reilly & Reitman 1072. Sabin 10508.
Wood was at Guadalajara when news of the Mexican-American War reached him via a report about Thornton’s Skirmish. News later reached him about the battles of Resaca de la Palma and Palo Alto. While in Guadalajara, he managed to send an express to Sloat in California and may be the man who first alerted Sloat about the war. He subsequently made a precarious journey across Mexico to Veracruz, where he sailed for the United States. He was in constant danger because he was carrying dispatches and had his uniform in his luggage. At one point, he thought about turning himself in but decided against doing so. Only the final chapter concerns those events. The remaining chapters cover his adventures elsewhere.