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POLK, James K. (1795-1849), President. Autograph letter signed ("James K. Polk") as President, to Secretary of War William L. Marcy (1786-1857), [Washington], 26 March 1847. 1 page, 4to (10 x 8 in.), very light mat-burn, otherwise in very fine condition.

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POLK, James K. (1795-1849), President. Autograph letter signed ("James K. Polk") as President, to Secretary of War William L. Marcy (1786-1857), [Washington], 26 March 1847. 1 page, 4to (10 x 8 in.), very light mat-burn, otherwise in very fine condition.

POLK TAKES CHARGE OF MILITARY PLANNING FOR THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF THE WAR WITH MEXICO

In March of 1847, General Winfield Scott prepared to seize the Mexican port city of Vera Cruz as the staging point for an overland campaign against the capital, Mexico City. The logistical preparations were complex for what would prove the decisive campaign of the war. In January, Congress had passed the Ten-Regiment Bill, creating ten new regiments of for use in the conflict. Here, while American naval forces bombarded Vera Cruz, Polk inquires with Marcy concerning the newly recruited regiments: "Will you have a complete list of the officers of all grades, recently appointed for the ten regiments prepared? As part of this force is now on the march for the Seat of War, it is necessary to designate the rank of the officers." Polk asks about the plan to recruit Mexican citizens into the American army: "Has the Adjutant General completed his order for the recruitment of Volunteers in Mexico? I desire to see it before it issues." He concludes: "Immediate attention I think should be given to these points."

The day after Polk's letter, the Mexican garrison at Vera Cruz surrendered and soon afterwards, General Scott launched the long-awaited campaign against Mexico City which culminated in the city's capture on September 14, 1847.
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