By Frederick Zeh
quickly after emigrating from Germany to the us, Frederick Zeh hastily joined the military as conflict with Mexico loomed. His written account is the 1st book-length description of the Mexican struggle via a German-American participant—a major contribution, provided that approximately part the usual military was once made of immigrant recruits.
even if Zeh held the lowly rank of "laborer" within the military, he was once good trained and an astute observer, and his tale is either vigorous and good written. in addition to the horror of battles, he describes kin among officials and enlisted males, army punishment, and day by day lifestyles. he's surprisingly candid approximately abuses that happened within the American military and towards Mexican civilians.
The editors' creation provides biographical info on Zeh and units the level for the narrative. An epilogue lines the highlights of his actions within the half-century following his army carrier.
Read or Download An Immigrant Soldier in the Mexican War (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest, No 13) PDF
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Additional resources for An Immigrant Soldier in the Mexican War (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest, No 13)
Generally the health of the entire group was quite satisfactory, and in high spirits we neared our voyage's destination. It was a stormy day and the sea was very high as Veracruz and the fort San Juan de Ulúa came into view. Here the sea is extremely treacherous. Moreover, there was, as I already noted, stormy weather and a contrary wind besides. As a result, our ship was forced to sail past right underneath the cannons of the enemy fort. All the soldiers were sent below deck so the sight of our Page 9 uniforms would not draw fire from the fort.
The boats from our battery were among the first. With steady, resolute gaze, our eyes were fixed on the beach. With each stroke of our oars, we expected a withering fire from over yonder. Occasional enemy riders showed up and vanished just as suddenly as they appeared. Calm prevailed, and our boats brought us as close to shore as the depth of its waters permitted. Then we leaped into the water, which reached somewhat above our knees, and on our shoulders hauled the pieces of our guns onto the beach.
I will relate just one incident. Our ship was in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida, and a powerful storm was raging. Around midnight, our situation became so perilous because of the shoals that our two battery carpenters were hustled out of bedindeed, in such haste that one of them, without any pants on, had to position himself on the main mast ready to cut it down upon a signal from the captain. Fortunately, such a drastic measure was not required. Page 8 A young man from Baltimore, who had joined the army against his parents' will, was in the same watch group as I.