By Frederick Zeh
quickly after emigrating from Germany to the U.S., Frederick Zeh rapidly joined the military as warfare with Mexico loomed. His written account is the 1st book-length description of the Mexican struggle by means of a German-American participant—a major contribution, provided that approximately part the typical military used to be made of immigrant recruits.
even though Zeh held the lowly rank of "laborer" within the military, he was once good knowledgeable and an astute observer, and his tale is either energetic and good written. in addition to the horror of battles, he describes kinfolk among officials and enlisted males, army punishment, and daily existence. he's strangely candid approximately abuses that happened within the American military and towards Mexican civilians.
The editors' advent supplies biographical details on Zeh and units the degree for the narrative. An epilogue lines the highlights of his actions within the half-century following his army provider.
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Extra info for An Immigrant Soldier in the Mexican War (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest, No 13)
During this period we had drawn rations for several days, arranged our knapsacks and weapons, and disassembled the howitzers to stow them more conveniently in the landing craft. After making these preparations and boarding the boats, and while awaiting the signal to advance, we could give free rein to our speculations about coming events. In my imagination I envisioned a hostile beach with concealed heavy artillery protected by infantry. Devastating gunfire would be our welcomeof that I was certain.
8 This is the extent of our knowledge about his physical appearance, for no portraits or photographs are known to have survived. The war in which Zeh participated resulted primarily from conflicting territorial interests of the United States and Mexico. During the quarter century before the war, American trappers, traders, explorers, and settlers gradually had been moving into the Mexican territories of Texas, New Mexico, and California. Many Americans believed in "Manifest Destiny," the idea that divine providence had given the United States a mission to occupy and develop the vast western lands.
I mention this circumstance only because that was the first, and also the last, time he commanded us, even though he remained commander Page 7 of the battery until the capture of Puebla. This piece of bravura alone resulted in his promotion to lieutenant colonel. 10 Our second lieutenant, Jesse Reno, was the soul of the battery. Though he was young and of short stature, he was a soldier through and through. 11 Later I shall have something to say about our first lieutenant. In my opinion, it is necessary to list the nationalities of the soldiers in our battery.
An Immigrant Soldier in the Mexican War (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest, No 13) by Frederick Zeh