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MEXICO – MILITARY HISTORY: Instrucciones Acerca de las Obligaciones de la Infantería Ligera en Campaña: para el uso de las Tropas de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.



A very rare and attractive Mexican manual for instructing light infantry in the field, published shortly after Mexican Independence, with 2 charmingly crudely engraved plates depicting suggested reconnaissance formations, published in Mexico City for the Ministerio de Guerra y Marina.

12° (14.5 x 10 cm): [2], 251 pp., plus, 2 folding engraved plates (with Fig. 1 measuring 15 x 21 cm; Fig. 2 measuring 24 x 20 cm), bound in contemporary half calf, marbled boards, with gilt designs to spine (Very Good, text clean, save for the odd tiny spot and some light toning and minor staining to title, Fig. 1 bound in on left margin, but complete, Fig. 2 with some fraying to righthand margin, binding with boards and edges somewhat worn, spine in good condition).

1 in stock


In the wake of Mexican Independence (1821), the Mexican Army sought to create its own military instruction manuals to anchor a new modern curriculum predicated upon the European standards as developed during the Napoleonic Wars. This not only had obvious practical advantages, but as it helped to indoctrinate army officer cadets (the future leaders of the state), it was key to the concept of ‘nation building’ that was so critical to a new republic.

The text features detailed directions for infantry troops for how to perform reconnaissance, guard duty while at camp, securing prisoners, arranging picket lines, amongst other critical functions.

The 2 charmingly, but crudely, engraved plates feature keyed diagrams of suggested reconnaissance formations.

The work is very rare. We can locate only 4 institutional examples, held by the Sutro Library (California State Library); University of California-Berkeley; Georgetown University and Baylor University. Moreover, we can trace only a single sales record for another example in recent years.

References: Sutro Library (California State Library): UD166 .I57 1826; University of California-Berkeley (Bancroft Library): UA603 .M46 1826; Georgetown University: UD470 .I59; Baylor University: UD166 .I57 1826.


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