My Confession by Samuel E. Chamberlain ; Introduction and postscript by Roger Butterfield
New York : Harper & Brothers, 1956. Hardcover. 301 pages ; illustrated ; 25 cm. $6.00 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
MY CONFESSION BY Samuel E. Chamberlain
"The sun rose bright and clear ... on the morning of the 23rd of February, 1847. It shone on a scene well calculated to stir one's blood to a fever heat with warlike enthusiasm and make a coward brave . . . twenty thousand men clad in new uniforms, belts as white as snow, brasses and arms burnished until they glittered like gold and silver. Their Cavalry . . . some six thousand cavaliers . . . advanced towards us as if they would ride down our little band and finish the battle at one blow."
This was the beginning of the famous Mexican War battle of Buena Vista, as seen by a seventeen-year-old U.S. dragoon who was in the thick of it.
Half scoundrel, half hero, a lad who gloried in a fray, either personal duel or large-scale battle, with an eye for a pretty girl and talents that would have made Don Juan, Casanova, Gil Bias and d'Artagnan envious, he was also something of an artist and considerable of a writer. And he left behind him when he died (years later, a respected Civil War general) this matchless piece of Americana, his personally illustrated and illuminated account of his extraordinary adventures and youthful escapades just before, during and after the Mexican War.
Here are the stories of battles, of love and dalliance, of duels, chases, escapes, murder, of massacres, ghosts, wild rides and gay fiestas, of the butchery, cruelty and barbarous punishment as well as the gallantry, heroism and glamour that characterized the Mexican War. Here are unparalleled glimpses of real heroes and villains such as General Zachary Taylor and Santa Anna, and of a number of young officers later to win fame in another war, including Captain R. E. Lee and his fellow officer, Captain Jefferson Davis. Here is a scalp-tingling account of young Chamberlain's postwar adventures with a gang of notorious outlaws. Here, in short, are the very sight and sound and smell of an almost neglected chunk of American history.
Now brought to light after more than one hundred years, this unique document will surely excite nationwide interest and delight as a classic of picaresque adventure.
The manuscript has been checked and rechecked by experts for accuracy and authenticity. Less than one-fifth of the hook appeared in Life in three installments in July and August, 1956.
With 55 illustrations and decorations including 16 pages in full color.
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