With the end of the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial, the focus of Civil War scholarship has turned to the tumultuous years of Reconstruction. But 2016 also marks the 170th Anniversary of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), a war almost entirely overshadowed by the 1860s, and yet whose own ramifications added a mortal blow to sectional strife.
Starting this month, posts will appear with “Mexican-American War 170th” and will follow the course of the war as the United States closes in on its goal of Manifest Destiny.
The Mexican War allows not only an exposition for those seeking to understand the steady road towards Civil War, it also brings familiar faces to the front. But this time through, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and the others we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing as grizzled faces won’t be generals; they’ll be captains, they’ll be majors, they’ll work on the staffs of Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. This was the first baptism of fire for fresh faces out of West Point—and a chance for longtime regulars to finally try and break the frozen upward mobility of the antebellum army.
Start looking for these posts later this month, and continue to follow along!