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“P” is for Palmetto Regiment

“P” is for Palmetto Regiment. The Palmetto Regiment, South Carolina’s contribution to the Mexican War was formed in June 1846 with Pierce Mason Butler elected as colonel. After reorganization and training the Palmettos departed for Mobile, Alabama—from whence they sailed to Mexico, landing in March near Vera Cruz. They were involved in two battles on August 20 and suffered 137 casualties, including the death of Colonel Butler. On September 12, American forces attacked Chapultapec and Mexico City. The Palmettos were the first regiment to enter the captured Mexican capital. In May 1848, after months of garrison duty, the unit left for home—arriving in Mobile in late June where they were mustered out and left to return home on their own. Of the 1,048 men enrolled in the Palmetto Regiment, 441 did not return home.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.