Chamberlain, Samuel E. (1829-1908). Manuscript, 1846 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Sam Chamberlain, a volunteer attached to Gen. John E. Wool's army in the U.S.-Mexican War, wrote and illustrated a diary of his adventures, later published as My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue (1956). This manuscript, the "Storming of Monterey," first appeared as an appendix in William H. Goetzmann's edition of My Confession (1996).
The manuscript, 20 pages long, is a clean copy of an earlier draft, with the narrative breaking off on Sept. 21-22, 1846, just before the Mexicans in Monterrey capitulated to the American army. At the top of the first page is Chamberlain's watercolor vignette of Monterrey as seen by the approaching American army. However, while Chamberlain's manuscript and painting are detailed and convincing, Chamberlain, who was only 16 at the time, was reportedly in San Antonio with the 1st U.S. Dragoons during the battle, and not fighting with the Texas Rangers at Monterrey, as he claims.
The Survey received the manuscript in 1996 from the estate of Elise B. Morton through the assistance of John D. Valentine, of Lewis, Rice and Fingersh, attorneys at law, St. Louis.