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I read the news today, oh boy…

6 September 2018

Richard Caton Woodville, “The News From Mexico”, 1848

The Mexican-American War of 1846-48 was the first in which “embedded reporters” covered the action. While the news was often weeks old by the time it appeared, it was avidly devoured … except perhaps by the slaves (right foreground) for whom “Mr. Polk’s War” had a very different meaning than the “Manifest Destiny” of expanding U.S. territory. Or, casualty reports (10 percent of the Army perished, mostly from disease), or perhaps, they are reading about Winfield Scott’s bombardment of Veracruz and its aftermath:

The journalists also reported that U.S. troops rioted immediately after entering Veracruz, setting fire to a nearby settlement, Boca Rio, after robbing and raping the inhabitants. Scott resorted to the public hanging of a rapist and issued an order establishing military courts to try Americans for crimes against Mexicans. His actions restored order, but not before the American people realized that American atrocities would not be limited to northern Mexico. Veracruz was the most widely reported battle

Greenberg, Amy S.. A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S

Invasion of Mexico (p. 172). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

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