This work is a narrative of Zachary Taylor’s Mexican War campaign, from the formation of his army in 1844 to his last battle at Buena Vista in 1847, with emphasis on the 163 men in his “Army of Occupation” who became Confederate or Union generals in the Civil War. It clarifies what being a Mexican War veteran meant in their cases, how they interacted with one another, how they performed their various duties, and how they reacted under fire. Referring to developments in Washington, D.C., and other theaters of the war, this book provides a comprehensive picture of the early years of the conflict based on army records and the letters and diaries of the participants.
Trailing Clouds of Glory is the first examination of the roles played in the Mexican War by the large number of men who served with Taylor and who would be prominent in the next war, both as volunteer and regular army officers, and it provides fresh information, even on such subjects as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Particularly interesting for the student of the Civil War are largely unknown aspects of the Mexican War service of Daniel Harvey Hill, Braxton Bragg, and Thomas W. Sherman.