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Notes Y Introduction 1. Francis F. Shunk was a Democratic governor of Pennsylvania elected in 1844. He was a veteran of the War of 1812 and a longtime clerk for the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives. Although he was reelected governor in 1847, tuberculosis forced his resignation in July 1848. 2. The treaty was negotiated by Nicholas P. Trist of the State Department and signed in February 1848. Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico agreed to a Rio Grande boundary line with Texas as well as the cession of 529,000 square miles, an area that includes the present U.S. states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In return, the United States paid Mexico $15 million. 3. Of some 13,000 American deaths during the war with Mexico, more than 11,000 died of disease. The ailments that most often afflicted the troops were yellow fever, dysentery, and smallpox. Yellow fever, or the vómito, as the Americans called it, was the most common and therefore most dreaded disease. Early symptoms included headache, fever, and vomiting, but as cases became more severe, blood vessels in the body ruptured. The hemorrhaging caused black and blue spots to appear on the skin, and the vomit became dark with coagulated blood. Many afflicted soldiers suffered and in some cases died from such diseases long after returning home from the war. See Timothy D. Johnson, A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007), 61, 122, 137–38, 244–45; Hannah Fischer, Kim Klarman, and Mari-Jana Oboroceanu, “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics,” (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, June 29, 2007). Chapter 1 1. In keeping with the democratic nature of volunteer units, and unlike the regular army, the volunteer regiments routinely selected their officers by popular election. Because units were typically recruited from the same community, many of the men knew each other in civilian life. Consequently , the winners of such contests were often those with the greatest wealth, social standing, or political power and not necessarily those with military skill or knowledge. 2. Western University was originally founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. In the nineteenth century its name changed to Western University, and in the early twentieth century to the University of Pittsburgh. 3. The regiment was sworn into service in the middle of December 1846, and Oswandel makes only one reference to “drill” before the unit departed for the theater of war on December 21. 354 Notes to Pages 12–26 This, however, does not mean that the Pennsylvania volunteers went off to war with but one day of training. The companies that comprised the First Pennsylvania were actually old militia companies from across the state that had volunteered their services in the weeks immediately following the declaration of war in May. One writer explained that these companies “continued to hold themselves in readiness” during the summer and fall as they waited to be called into service. This likely included typical forms of militia drill that the units had been accustomed to prior to the war. So when they departed Pennsylvania in December, these soldiers, many having served together in the state’s militia for years, were already familiar with formations, marching, and maneuver. See Randy W. Hackenburg, Pennsylvania in the War With Mexico: The Volunteer Regiments (Shippensburg, Pa.: White Mane Publishing Co., Inc., 1992), 2–4. 4. It was actually Parkersburg which, along with Belleville, is now in West Virginia. 5. Bucking and gagging were forms of discipline. The bucking process consisted of the soldier’s ankles being tied, and then he was seated, with his knees pulled up to his chest. Next, his arms were wrapped around his legs, with wrists tied in front, and a pole was passed under the knees. Being gagged meant having a large object like a tent peg forced into a widely stretched mouth. Remaining fixed in such a position for several hours sent excruciating pain through the body, and after numbness set in, the soldier was untied and the gag removed again, causing extreme pain as he tried to return to a normal position. 6. New Orleans, with an 1850 population of approximately 115,000, was the South’s largest and commercially most important city. Baltimore’s population was almost 170,000 and that of New York 700,000. 7. The natural opening in Padre Island, which stretches along...


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