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Title Smiths March
Dates of Creation circa 1848
Scope & Content "Smith's March", sheet music by J. T. Martin, published by Keybar & Company and dedicated to General Persifer (sic)) F. Smith, the hero of Contreras. Written in pencil on the cover is "Margaret A. Lambert, From Brother Willie."
Throughout the history of popular music in America (and elsewhere) the military march has found a solid place in the parlors of the homes. During war-times, marches become more popular but it does not always take a war to make a march popular. This piece is however, written in homage to an American war hero, General Persifor F. Smith for his heroic actions during the battle of Contreras August 19, 1847 during the The U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848.
Smith commanded a group at Contreras and though this music is dedicated to his "heroism" he gets little mention in histories of the battle. Most mentioned are the later famous generals Winfield Scott and Franklin Pierce (later President of the U.S.). Around the time of the battle, Smith was commander of the Fifth Military Department (Texas). At Contreras, Smith commanded a group that reinforced a beleaguered regiment at San Geronimo. Finding a gap in the Mexican defense through a ravine, Smith proposed a daring plan to attack before daybreak with bayonets only. Requesting a diversion from Scott to attack Mexican General Valencia's front, the troops were roused at midnight and began their move at three AM. Rain, slippery clay and obstacles in the ravine prevented the unit from reaching the Mexican before dawn firearms rather than bayonets were readied and in a period of seventeen minutes (according to Smith) the Mexican army was routed and retreated in surprised confusion.
The musical piece is an important historical document related to America's music as well as the Mexican War.
Subjects Music sheet covers
Sheet music covers
People Martin J. T.
Collection History Museum Music Collection
Imagefile 031\20063244-2.JPG
Number of images 1
Object Name Music, Sheet
Catalog Number 2006.32.44
Extent of Description 1-sheet music, 9" x 12"