Kendall was a nineteenth-century Renaissance man—involved in and successful at many things. He was fascinated with early Texas and sought to have it admitted to the Union. He frequently wrote about Texas in the Picayune, participated in the Texan expedition to Santa Fe in 1841, and was taken prisoner there. He wrote Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition as a result of the experience.
When the war with Mexico broke out five years later, Kendall rushed to Texas where he joined the U.S. Army as it marched into Mexico. He wrote numerous dispatches from the front lines which appeared in the Picayune before government couriers could get the information to Washington. Kendall was on hand for most of the important battles of the war.
Dissatisfied with what was written after the war, Kendall began to write a history himself. He contracted with Carl Nebel, a talented German artist he had met in Mexico, and got him to paint pictures of the major battles to illustrate his text. Producing this exquisite book took several years and involved the printing talents of Lemercier, one of the finest lithographers in Paris. The quality of the production was second to none. One of the pictures depicts the Battle of Palo Alto, which took place on Texas soil, and others show the battles of Monterrey, Buena Vista, and the southern campaign. Perhaps best known is the picture of General Scott's entrance into the zocalo, the main plaza, in Mexico City.
This facsimile reprint is as important as it is beautiful. It tells, in succinct prose by one who was there, the story of the war that confirmed Texas's membership in the Union and added vast parts of the West to the United States. Ron Tyler's scholarly introduction places the work in its historical and artistic context, and adds to its value. This reasonably priced facsimile of the rare and expensive original is a must for students, scholars, and libraries.
Published by Texas State Historical Assn