[Lomita, Tx., i.e., Brownsville: 1846]. p. One sheet, with manuscript on recto only. Previously folded. Spotty fading at edges; a bit of light soiling. Clipped signature affixed to sheet. Very good. Item #2274
A fine example of manuscript orders to the First Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers, who were stationed at Lomita, near Brownsville and Matamoros on the Rio Grande at the outset of the Mexican-American War. The present orders, dated August 2, 1846, pertain to rules of behavior in camp, and read, in part, as follows:
"The soldiers of the 1st Regt. Tenn Vol. are required to keep within the line of sentinels and not to leave the encampment without leave in writing from his or their Captain or commanding company officer & countersigned by the Col. or commanding officer of the Regt. There shall be no discharging of fire arms within the chain of sentinels. Parties sent out for wood shall be sent out under a Non-Commissioned Officer, who will be held responsible for their conduct. The officer of the day must be satisfied that parties sent out for wood as above stated [are] really sent for that purpose...."
The First Tennessee Volunteers were sent to the mouth of the Rio Grande from New Orleans in the summer of 1846 after war was declared, and were encamped near Brownsville awaiting orders to march on Monterrey when these instructions were issued. This document bears the affixed signature of Col. W.B. Campbell, who was also a Tennessee Volunteer during the Seminole War, the state's Governor from 1851 to 1853, and a three-term Representative in U.S. Congress. Manuscript field orders such as the present example are rare survivors, and the present document provides an interesting glimpse at camp life on the Texas-Mexico border during the preparations for the American advance to Monterrey and Saltillo.