Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign

Article excerpt

A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign, by Timothy D. Johnson. Kansas, September 2007. $39.95

Closely following developments from England, the Duke of Wellington praised General Winfield Scott's Mexico City campaign as an event "unsurpassed in military annals." While other historians have largely concurred with the victor of Waterloo's sentiment, there has never been a book-length study of the campaign itself until this excellent work. Lasting from March to September 1847, the Mexico City campaign saw Scott and his 11,000 regulars and volunteers traverse nearly 250 miles into the heart of Mexico. Johnson combines a top-down study of operational and strategic considerations with "the perspective of the lower ranks" to give a rich account of the invading US forces. He particularly notes how Scott employed his Army Corps of Engineers to wage a "scientific" form of warfare that allowed him to besiege the port city of Veracruz through well-positioned artillery and carefully coordinated beach landings. More importantly, the author credits Scott with a plan to pacify Mexican citizens by respecting civilian and church property. …

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