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The number of deaths suffered by the US Army in action against partisans cannot be precisely determined. Several reasons account for this. First, statistics compiled by staff of that era are imprecise. Soon after the war ended, Edward D. Mansfield, a historian of the conflict, extensively reviewed available records1. He broke the statistics down into categories of those US soldiers killed from the start of the war to the final full month of combat (January 1848) and those who died thereafter: THE RANKS OF THE DEAD TABLE A.1 UNITED STATES LOSSES IN THE 1846–48 WAR A. From April 1846 to January 1848 Killed in action or died from wounds up to January 1848 1,556 Died due to disease up to January 1848 5,987 Discharged for disability up to 1848 5,432 Desertions up to January 1848 4,925 Subtotal 17,900 B. From January 1848 through July 1848 Deaths resulting from combat and disease plus discharges and desertions 4,500 C. Combination of itemized losses 22,400 D. Total reported losses 25,200 E. Number of soldiers unaccounted for (D minus C) 2,800 Levinson_Wars_text_new_WarsLayoutNew4.11.05 10/18/13 2:09 PM Page 129 Mansfield cannot account for the discrepancy of 2,800 personnel. We may assume that many of these men fell to partisan attacks. Primary source documents of this conflict evidence a disposition on the part of senior officers to slight or even ignore partisan forces. The most glaring example is the previously cited decision of the chief of intelligence, Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, to assert that the dispatch of thousands of troops to counter-guerrilla postings did not constitute a military operation . Similarly, Major Folliot Lally’s statement that he merely restored order without reference to any tally of injured and killed on either side illustrates another sort of incomplete report. Consequently, we are left only with the testimony of field officers and infantry who conveyed respect for the abilities of the partisans they faced along the Veracruz–Mexico City corridor. 130 Wars within War Levinson_Wars_text_new_WarsLayoutNew4.11.05 10/18/13 2:09 PM Page 130 ...


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