6 Mar 2019

The Mexican Soldier Available from Good Ground LLC

We are now offering the The Mexican Soldier by Joseph Hefter, faithfully reproduced by the Virtual Armchair General.

It is a wonderful, color-plate packed guide to painting the elaborate Mexican uniforms of the period.

So Far From God

The Mexican Soldier

The Mexican Soldier

In 1958, historian and illustrator, Joseph Hefter and colleagues, self-published one of the classics of modern military history, "El Soldado Mexicano, 1837-1847." The only printed edition quickly became the standard reference on the appearance and organization of the Mexican Army in the period of the Texas War of Independence through the Mexican- American War of 1846-48. Hardly a book written on these events since 1958 does not cite Hefter's work, yet it became scarce and the surviving copies show the effects of time on their pulp pages and covers.

As part of The (Virtual) Armchair General's researches for the coming Mexican-American War Game rules, "Gone To See The Elephant," this Editor's original copy of the book was constantly been referred to. But its physical condition, the faded (but still beautiful) color uniform plates, and the author's "stream of consciousness" layout of his text proved frustrating.

After seeking advice, I have exercised due diligence in an attempt to establish who may have the Copyright to Hefter's work since his death 30 years ago. As a result, I decided to go ahead and return this remarkable work to the war gaming and historical community in a new and updated edition.

Not merely a reprint, color quality has been restored to the eight original plates, plus seven more b&w plates have now been "colorized" based on uniform data in the text, and all of which have been significantly increased in size. Four more Hefter plates from other publications round out the work. Further, three full color pages of Mexican Army Colors, Standards, Guidons, and Pennants (most never before seen in print) realized by Eric Cox add a dimension missing from the original work. A number of line drawings by Hefter have been provided by other sources for use in this new edition, as well as extra photos and drawings of more uniform details and equipment.

Besides being the best single source on uniforms for the period, "The Mexican Soldier" details the tactics, organization, and weaponry of the Army, answering many--if not all--of the questions of what made this remarkable army function as it did. There are useful tables of OB's for the major battles of the Mexican War, sections on the Army Health Corps, information on the soldiers themselves (heights, illnesses, pay, discipline, etc). The original text followed a roughly chronological arrangement, but tended to meander--tangentially--making it difficult to look up any particular item. This has all been addressed by a nearly total rearrangement of the text into sections and sub-sections, and then chronologically. The Spanish language text and captions are removed for this edition, but only one word of the English version is missing (correcting an error), and new material by Hefter himself has been added.

This release represents the third printing since 2008, and the first to the widest possible audience.

Printed in 8.5" x 11" format, on 67 pages, plus 22 uniform, equipment, and flag plates, 21 in full color.

Good Ground LLC

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