Mr. Polk's Army
The American Military Experience in the Mexican War
Military History - Mexican War
6 x 9, 288 pp.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000
  paper
Price:        $22.95

978-1-58544-033-7
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1997 Jerry Coffey Memorial Book Prize, presented by the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation

Mr. Polk's Army

The American Military Experience in the Mexican War

Richard Bruce Winders

Drawing on numerous diaries, journals, and reminiscences, Richard Bruce Winders presents the daily life of soldiers at war; links the army to the society that produced it; shares his impressions of the soldiers he “met” along the way; and concludes that American participants in the Mexican War shared a common experiemce, no matter their rank or place of service.

In addition to the soldiers’ mundane complaints—bad food, hard marches, and long periods of incredible boredom—Winders discovers a political awareness among the soldiers that, with some, led to displaying their political affiliations while in uniform.

Taking a “new” military history approach, Mr. Polk’s Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War examines the cultural, social, and political aspects of the regular and volunteer forces that made up the army of 1846–48, presents the organizational framework of the army, and introduces the different styles of leadership exhibited by Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott.

Historians and those interested in the Mexican War and its participants will find this an important addition to nineteenth-century military history.

RICHARD BRUCE WINDERS received his Ph.D in history from Texas Christian University in 1994. He is historian and curator of the Alamo.

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