• American Major Struck His Soldier With Sword And Ordered Him Tied Up -- Mexican-American War

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    Offering a single-page, 8 ¼ x 10, ALS, n.d., n.p., from Valentine Hambach, a soldier in the 8th Infantry in the Mexican-American War [research included] detailing how his superior abused him and appealing to “the general” in “getting satisfaction.” Hambach doesn’t identify the general, but several were involved in the war, including Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott and George Pickett.

    He writes, “Sir – Being badly used by an officer of my Regiment (8th Inftry), I take the liberty of informing you of the circumstances begging you, at the same time, to assist me in getting satisfaction for the wrongs received when marching to my Quarters from drill this morning. Major Montgomery [William Reading Montgomery] ordered me to close up. I tried to do so but the man in front of me, not keeping step, it was impossible for me to obey his order.  Major Montgomery, seeing I had not closed up, came up to me, struck me with the sword, and ordered me to be tied up all day, calling me a dam worthless puppy. Being an old soldier who knows his duty, knowing that I am innocent, I hope the General will not approve of such usage and assist me in getting satisfaction...Valentine Hambach”

    WILLIAM READING MONTGOMERY (July 10, 1801 – May 31, 1871) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Second Seminole War, the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. He received a brevet appointment as major for gallant and meritorious conduct during his service as captain of the 8th United States Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, where he was wounded. He received a brevet appointment as lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious service with the 8th at the Battle of Molino del Rey, where he was wounded.  In 1855, Montgomery was dismissed from the service for engaging in inappropriate real estate transactions.

    The Mexican-American War was an invasion of Mexico by the United States Army from 1846 to 1848. It followed the 1845 American annexation of Texas, which Mexico still considered its territory.  The Republic of Texas was de facto an independent country, but most American citizens who had moved from the United States to Texas after 1822 wanted it to be annexed by the United States.  President James Polk was determined to acquire the land and sent American troops to Texas in January 1846 to provoke Mexicans into war. When Mexicans fired on American troops on April 25, 1846, Polk had the excuse he needed.


    On July 1, 1846, General Pickett was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 8th Infantry. He soon gained national recognition in the Mexican-American War when he carried the American colors of the parapet during the Battle of Chapultepec in September 1847.  Pickett was wounded and his friend Lieutenant James Longstreet handed him the colors. Pickett carried the flag over the wall and fought his way to the roof of the palace, unfurling it over the fortress and announcing the surrender.  He received a second brevet promotion to captain.


    Toning, light foxing. Very readable. Apparently hand delivered.


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