""To the Color" is the continuing true story of John Riley: young (28), cynical, charming, a professional Irish soldier who deserts the U.S. army to fight for Mexico at first for money, then for something loftier in the Mexican War of 1846-48. With gritty action, humor, pathos, and romance, it not only brings to life his torturous journey of reformation but that of the rough-hewn Irish and German fellow deserters who follow him in pursuit of a shared dream. Driven by the drama of conflicting loyalties, their epic tale resumes in January of 1847 in a sprawling Mexican army camp at San Luis Potosi. Riley and his commander, Captain Moreno, attend a tense meeting with mercurial General Santa Anna. Preparing to attack U.S. forces near Saltillo, Santa Anna berates unprepared division generals in an opium fueled tirade. He bestows the honor of leading this advance to Riley's all too ready band of rogues. But he demands a unit name. Riley dubs them "The Battalion of St. Patrick." And they prepare to march into history." --
Ray Herbeck, Jr.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 437-441).