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2007 Catalog > 1. Hughes, Line of March, Army of Mexico

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1. George W. Hughes / Lorenzo Sitgreaves / William B. Franklin. “Map Showing the Line of March of the Centre Division, Army of Mexico, under the Command of Brigr. Genl. John E. Wool, from San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, to Saltillo, Mexico” (Washington, D.C.: 1846). Published in Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating a Map Showing the Operations of the Army of the United States in Texas and the Adjacent Mexican States on the Rio Grande (Washington, D.C.: Senate Ex. Doc. No. 32, 31st Congress, 1st sess., 1850). Lithographed folding map in black and white, as issued. 19 x 18" at neat line. Sheet size: 24 x 18 3/4". Light scattered spotting; minor chipping to u. l. margin where formerly attached to report; left margin trimmed close. Overall, very good condition.

Price: SOLD.

This fascinating map shows the tactical routes of the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War—specifically, General John Wool’s excursion into the heart of Mexico in 1846. Wool led his Army of the Center from San Antonio to Parras and then on to Saltillo, where he joined forces with Generals Butler and Worth in the defeat of Mexican troops under Santa Anna. Topographical officers George Hughes, Lorenzo Sitgreaves, and William Franklin reconnoitered the route for Wool’s army and prepared notes and sketches from which the present map was drafted. A major result of their work was to provide extensive new information about a portion of southern Texas and northern Mexico that was virtually unknown prior to the war.

“The jealousy of the Spaniards, and the indolence of the Mexicans,” Hughes later wrote, “had prevented the publication of maps based upon reliable authority, and, owing to the excursions of the savage tribes, the present race of Mexicans were but imperfectly acquainted with it, and therefore but little information could be procured from them.” Comments Adrian Traas, “Except along the main route, the Topographical Engineers had to grope their way, taking astronomical observations like a ship at sea.” The map was published in Hughes’s 1850 report to the Senate about the Mexican campaign under Wool. A nice example of this rare document of the Mexican-American War.

Refs.: Goetzmann, Army Exploration in the American West, 1803–1863, pp. 149–150; Traas, From the Golden Gate to Mexico City: The U.S. Army Topographical Engineers in the Mexican War, 1846–1848, p. 160.

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