Ca. late 1910s.
Oblong Small Octavo album (ca. 14,5x18,5 cm). 26 black album leaves. With 53 mounted gelatin silver photographs from ca. 8,5x11 cm (3 ¼ x 4 ¼ in) to ca. 4,5x7 cm (1 ¾ x 2 ¾ in). No captions. The first photo has a readable date on verso “10/30/18.” With eleven period newspaper and magazine clippings of various sizes. Period black cloth album with the ink stamp “Royal Albums” on the rear pastedown endpaper. Binding with minor water stains and slightly rubbed on extremities, a couple of images mildly faded, two photos have minor damage to the image (after being stuck together), but overall a very good album of interesting photos.
Interesting collection of original snapshots documenting the life and service of an American soldier guarding the Mexican border during the Mexican Border War (1910-1919). A group of three soldiers on one of the photos pose with a flag with the symbols “12” and “K,” relating to the Troop K of the 12th Cavalry Regiment (3rd Squadron) of the US Army. The regiment was constituted in 1901 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and in the early 20th century served in the United States, the Philippines, and the Panama Canal Zone. In the late 1910s, the regiment patrolled the Mexican border, being ordered to Hachita (NM) in 1916, and redeployed to Texas in 1921 (see more about the regiment’s history: https://1cda.org/history/history-12cav/). The photos in the album most likely relate to the regiment’s service on the Mexican border in the late 1910s (since the first photo in the album is dated 1918), after the end of the Pancho Villa punitive expedition of the US Army (March 1916 – February 1917). Forty-six photos show American soldiers, cavalry horses, military barracks and tents (most likely, near Hachita), construction of a building, a boxing match, a target practice, etc. One group portrait depicts four soldiers, with one of them jokingly pointing his pistol at the back of an unaware trooper's head. The other seven photos are portraits of the compiler’s family and friends. Overall a rare, interesting visual source on the history of the Mexican Border War and the US military service on the Mexican border during and after WW1.