Zachary Taylor's Army in Texas



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In the summer of 1845, fully half of the United States Army was camped on a Texas beach. That's how the United States and the soon-to-be State of Texas saw it. Mexico, on the other hand, believed the portion of that beach on the left bank of the Nueces River was in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. That's why General Zachary Taylor was ordered to take his army there: to defend the claim of the United States to the lands between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, which it was shortly to inherit. The Republic of Texas had made the claim since 1836, and that territory had been treated as a no-man's land by Mexico and Texas. It's what made the little hamlet of Corpus Christi a perfect rendezvous for contrabandistas exchanging Mexican hides, wool and silver for American tobacco and manufactured goods to be smuggled into protectionist Mexico. But back to Zachary Taylor and his army. At Corpus Christi. "Old Rough and Ready" molded his patchwork army from across the United States into a cohesive fighting force, ready to march to the Rio Grande and take on much larger Mexican forces. Taylor brought with him several young officers who would be generals in the Civil War:
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • George Meade
  • Braxton Bragg
  • James Longstreet
  • John F. Reynolds
  • Lafayette McLaws
  • George H. Thomas
  • Abner Doubleday
  • William Hardee
  • John Bankhead Magruder
  • E. Kirby Smith
  • Richard Gatlin
  • Alexander Hays
  • Samuel G. French
This was Murphy Givens' final book, written while he battled cancer. It was important to Murphy to tell the full story of Zachary Taylor and the deeds of the Army of Occupation in Texas.

He tells it through the reports, diaries, letters and memoirs of the men who were there. That's how real historians work.

Murphy paints a vivid picture of what life for the army was like, and how Taylor’s troops won lopsided victories at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and then occupied Matamoros without opposition. 

There are lots of Mexican war books. This is different because it is only about the happenings in Texas. You'll learn about:

  • The ways the troops got to Texas
  • How the camps were built
  • How they dealt with rattlesnakes and northers
  • Grant's mishap
  • The Dayton explosion
  • Scouting expeditions
  • Hunting trips
  • Mapping the Laguna Madre and other bays
  • Camp life
  • How they trained
  • The Desert of the Dead
  • Building Fort Texas
  • The Thornton Affair
  • The Annexation Ball
  • The Battle of Palo Alto
  • The Battle of Resaca de la Palma
  • Crossing the Rio Grande playing Yankee Doodle
Not only does it tell the story through the eyes of the men who were there, it contains these valuable appendices:


  • Fates of the major players
  • List of Officers
  • List of Deaths
  • Chronology of Events in Texas
If you want to be well informed on a crucial chapter in Texas history that most people know nothing about, this is a book for you.


Physical Details

  • Zachary Taylor's Army in Texas by Murphy Givens
  • First Edition Hardcover
  • Satin Finish Jacket
  • 232 pages
  • 25 photos and maps


  • Ships within 3 business days.
  • Shipping for your entire order is 5 dollars, anywhere in the United States.
  • Your book will be packed the old fashioned way, in an actual box. No cheap book mailers.


We will gladly buy it back if you decide you don't want it anymore. There's no time limit on that.

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