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05.04.02 Semmes, Raphael, Service Afloat and Ashore During the Mexican War, published in 1851.

Originally published in 1851, copies of this book were almost impossible to find and sold for over $200 when they could be located.  A recent reprinting has made this rare classic available at a reasonable price.  Furthermore, the book is available as a free scanned e-book.

This the memoir by Raphael Semmes (1809-1877) covering his experiences in the War Against Mexico.  It is written in same fashion as his later book his naval service during the War Between the States (see our posting at 05.05.07 for Semmes’s Civil War book). 

Early in the book on the War Against Mexico Semmes trades time at sea for time in the saddle.  He is sent on a mission that keeps him attached to the invading United States Army and Marine Corp.  His eye for detail is amazing and the geographical and ethnic sketches of Mexico and her people are as fascinating as his commentary on the various battles. 

Any student of military history will enjoy this splendid account of the War Against Mexico, which set the stage for the 1850’s North versus South conflict over rights to settle the western territories which followed the 1848 cession of the huge Mexican territory between Texas and the Pacific Ocean.