James L. Freaner was one of America’s first war correspondents covering General Winfield Scott’s campaign during the Mexican War. His letters appeared in newspapers under the byline “Mustang,” and his reports from the front included publication of complete casualty lists (long before official reports became public), detailed battle descriptions, and observations on postwar Mexico. Freaner’s greatest contribution was persuading Nicholas P. Trist, negotiator with Mexico, to ignore his recall and conclude a peace treaty that added California, Nevada, Utah, and other territory to a growing country.
From the Halls of the Montezumas is a complete compilation of Freaner’s Mexican War reporting. Editors Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff annotated the text with footnotes identifying people, places, and events, also adding pictures of key figures and maps.