President James K. Polk Awards a Certificate of Merit For Heroics at the Battle of Churubusco

The recipient served directly under Lieut. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson in Company K, 1st U.S. Artillery

Certificates of Merit for the Mexican War are uncommon, this being the first we have had

The First United States Artillery was formed in 1802. During the War of 1812, elements of the unit were active in the Canada campaign, at the Battle off Plattsburgh, defense of Fort Erie, defense of Fort...

Read More

President James K. Polk Awards a Certificate of Merit For Heroics at the Battle of Churubusco

The recipient served directly under Lieut. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson in Company K, 1st U.S. Artillery

Certificates of Merit for the Mexican War are uncommon, this being the first we have had

The First United States Artillery was formed in 1802. During the War of 1812, elements of the unit were active in the Canada campaign, at the Battle off Plattsburgh, defense of Fort Erie, defense of Fort McHenry (which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner), and the Battle of New Orleans. Reformed as the First Regiment, United States Artillery in 1821, it saw its first wartime action in the Mexican War.

In the campaign of 1846-47, five of its companies served with General Zachary Taylor in Texas and northern Mexico, taking an active part in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey and Buena Vista. In the campaign of 1847 in central Mexico under General Winfield Scott, a greater part of the regiment took part in the siege of Vera Cruz and the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and Mexico City. The First Artillery received the commendation of its brigade and division commanders for every action in which it was present, and its losses – 21% of its whole strength in killed and wounded – attest to its military zeal and fidelity to duty. The battle of Churubusco was especially fatal, for the total loss in officers and men was 45 out of a total of less than 300. Henry Williams of Company K played a heroic part in that battle, and was one of those severely wounded.

The roster of the regiment in Mexico reads like a who’s who of notable Civil War generals. It included Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, Joseph Hooker, Irwin McDowell, J.B. Magruder, Abner Doubleday, and A.P. Hill, among many others. Jackson was a lieutenant in Company K, so Williams served directly under him. The company’s commander was Captain Francis Taylor.

President Polk rewarded Williams for his bravery. Document signed, as President, with engraved eagle and flags, Washington, May 3, 1848, being a “Certificate of Merit” for “Private Henry Williams of Company K of the First Regiment of Artillery.” It states that “having distinguished himself in the service of the United States on the twentieth day of August 1847 in the battle of Churubusco, on the recommendation of Captain F. Taylor…I do hereby award to the said Henry Williams this Certificate of Merit…” The certificate provides that the recipient is entitled to receive $2 per month in extra pay. The document is countersigned by Secretary of War William Marcy.

An uncommon document, this being the first we have ever had.

Frame, Display, Preserve

Each frame is custom constructed, using only proper museum archival materials. This includes:The finest frames, tailored to match the document you have chosen. These can period style, antiqued, gilded, wood, etc. Fabric mats, including silk and satin, as well as museum mat board with hand painted bevels. Attachment of the document to the matting to ensure its protection. This "hinging" is done according to archival standards. Protective "glass," or Tru Vue Optium Acrylic glazing, which is shatter resistant, 99% UV protective, and anti-reflective. You benefit from our decades of experience in designing and creating beautiful, compelling, and protective framed historical documents.

Learn more about our Framing Services