THE MILITARY OCCUPATION OF THE TERRITORY OF NEW MEXICO, 1846-1851
Facsimile of the Original 1909 Edition
By Ralph Emerson Twitchell
The History of the New Mexico Campaign in the war with Mexico.
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The author, in his introduction to the 1909 edition of this book, referring to the war with Mexico in the New Mexico Territory, says: “Here is presented to the student a wonderful field of historic research. The American Occupation period has been chosen as the one most easily described, and, at the same time, one of the most interesting in the history of the American people, containing, as it does, the deeds of men who won the West, men whose courage, devotion to country and true citizenship enabled them to accomplish the greatest military achievement of modern times, a single regiment of citizen soldiers, marching nearly six thousand miles through five states of a foreign nation, living off the resources of the invaded country, almost annihilating a powerful army, conquering and treating with powerful Indian tribes, and, returning home, graced with the trophies of victory, all with the loss of less than a hundred men.” The author hoped that the book, with its many illustrations, would instill “lessons of patriotism, honor, valor and love of country.”
Ralph Emerson Twitchell was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on November 29, 1859. Arriving in New Mexico when he was twenty-three, he immediately became involved in political and civic activities. In 1885 he helped organize a new territorial militia in Santa Fe and saw active duty in western New Mexico. Later appointed judge advocate of the Territorial Militia, he attained the rank of colonel, a title he was proud to use for the rest of his life. By 1893 he was elected the mayor of Santa Fe and, thereafter, district attorney of Santa Fe County.
Twitchell probably promoted New Mexico as much as any single New Mexican of his generation. An avid supporter of New Mexico statehood, he argued the territory’s case for elevated political status, celebrated its final victory in 1912, and even designed New Mexico’s first state flag in 1915.
In the apt words of an editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican at the time of Twitchell’s death in 1925: “As press agent for the best things of New Mexico, her traditions, history, beauty, glamour, scenery, archaeology, and material resources, he was indefatigable and efficient.”
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