Mexican-American War Soldier Records & Military Casualty Lists

If your ancestors fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-48), then old newspapers are a great way to find records about them. Especially helpful are the troop and casualty lists many newspapers published during the war that can be found in our historical archives.

Newspapers routinely reported on our soldiers, as in this article from an 1847 newspaper.

Palmetto Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers in Mexican-American War, Charleston Courier newspaper article 24 June 1847

Charleston Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 24 June 1847, page 2

In this old newspaper article we read about the Palmetto Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, which was encamped “near Jalapa, Mexico” during the Mexican-American War. This report provides troop strength totals and a military casualty list giving the names of the dead, the sick and the deserters.

Palmetto Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers in Mexican-American War, Charleston Courier newspaper article 24 June 1847

Charleston Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 24 June 1847, page 2

This news report also gives a status update noting that the South Carolina soldiers were most recently on a reconnaissance mission to Alvarado and were not involved in the Battle of Cerro Gordo. At this important American victory General Winfield Scott, though outnumbered by the Mexican troops, caught Mexican General Santa Anna so totally by surprise that he had to flee—without his artificial leg! That prosthetic limb was confiscated and is still on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.

The New Orleans Picayune reported the captured trophy of Santa Anna’s cork leg in an 1847 newspaper article reprinted by the Alexandria Gazette.

A Trophy--Santa Anna's Cork Leg, Alexandria Gazette newspaper article 03 June 1847

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia), 3 June 1847, page 2

Dig into GenealogyBank’s online historical newspaper archives today to find out more about your Mexican-American War military ancestors and discover the legendary stories of our country’s colorful history.

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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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