The Epic March
BY KIMBALL CLARK*
Early on the morning of May 3, 1846, Lieutenant Ulysses S.
Grant wrote apprehensively to his fiancee that she would hear
from him again "if I am one of the fortunate individuals who
escape."1 A few months later, Captain Robert E. Lee made out his
will. That spring and summer, hundreds of other men, who would
acquire fame or notoriety fifteen years later in an ugly domestic
conflict, made their various personal dispositions. They prepared
for their roles in the War with Mexico, when the United States
would push the idea of Manifest Destiny not only to the northern
boundaries of Mexico but into the interior of her southern neighbor.
In that same interval, another man, Alexander Doniphan, organized for the Mexican War, albeit in a different way. Unlike Grant,
Lee, George McClellan, T.J. Jackson and others, Doniphan did not
aspire to a career either in the direct application or teaching of
* Kimball Clark is a free-lance author and native Missourian living in Arlington,
Virginia. A former reporter for the Kansas City Star, he has the B.A. degree from
Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.
1 William S. McFeeley, Grant (New York, 1981), 31.