By Phyllis Kinnison, Archivist, Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives
In order to add to the museum’s collection of Mexican War materials, the collections and archives staff recently purchased three documents.
The first document purchased is a Return for Forage for the escort of Texas Cavalry belonging to Captain Adams’ company for the purpose of guarding the train from Saltillo, Mexico. The return describes the type and amount of forage issued for 10 horses for June 16, 1848. It was issued by Captain A.W. Reynolds, assistant quartermaster, in Monterrey, Mexico and signed by Captain Andrew R. Potts, assistant commissary of subsistence.
Lieutenant A.W. Reynolds was appointed assistant quartermaster in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He remained there until the spring of 1848 when he was sent to Matamoras, Mexico to return some mules to the United States. Reynolds gained the rank of captain by June 1848, and he was serving in Monterrey, Mexico. By August of 1850 he was the assistant quartermaster in the Territory of New Mexico. He joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Captain Andrew R. Potts was born in Washington, D.C. and received his appointment as assistant commissary of subsistence from there. On February 23, 1847 Potts was in Buena Vista, Mexico. There he issued subsistence (pork, fresh beef, rice, hard bread, coffee, sugar, vinegar, candles, soap, and salt worth $133.27) to 294 officers and enlisted men of the Mexican Army who were taken prisoner at the Battle of Buena Vista. Potts signed the Return of Forage in Monterrey, Mexico on June 16, 1848. His term of service ended September 30, 1848. By 1859 Potts was serving as the Librarian of the House of Representatives of the United States in Washington, D.C.
The 1846 Funeral Notice for Major Samuel Ringgold was also purchased by the museum. The invitation was sent to The Honorable R.J. Walker, Secretary of Treasury and was signed by George P. Kane, who became mayor of Baltimore in 1877, and two other men. The invitation is dated December 18, 1846. The funeral was to take place on December 22.
Major Samuel Ringgold (1796-1846) was from Baltimore, Maryland. He developed the tactics for and organized a corps of flying artillery, which used artillery pieces that could be moved quickly from place to place. While serving under General Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Palo Alto (Texas), Ringgold was able to successfully demonstrate the efficiency of the flying artillery tactics. However, he was mortally wounded during the battle and died three days later. His was the first American death in the Mexican War.
A broadside written by Pedro de Ampudia in 1846 denouncing the United States of America was also purchased by the museum. Ampudia reminded the populace that the country overcame Spanish domination and could do the same under Santa-Ana’s leadership in the war with the United States. At that point, August 28, 1846, Matamoros had fallen to the US Army, and Monterrey would be next in just a few weeks.
As a Mexican officer, Pedro de Ampudia saw action at the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas fight for independence. During the Mexican War (1846-1848), he fought at the Battle of Palo Alto, the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, and the Battle of Monterrey.