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1880 Tribute to Robert Patterson

President of the Aztec Club
Feted at 1880 Dinner By
Beauregard, Hancock, Sherman, Tower, and Others

On January 6, 1880, at Manhattan's famed Delmonico's Restaurant, veterans of the Mexican War gathered for a testimonial dinner to Major General Robert Patterson, an Irish immigrant born in 1792 who commanded a division at Cerro Gordo, led the cavalry and advanced brigades in the pursuit, entered and took Jalapa.

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Patterson served as President of the Aztec Club from the close of the Mexican War until 1881. His vision, leadership, and the respect he commanded of nearly everyone embodied a unique blend of qualities the Club needed at the critical post-Civil War era as it evolved from a military society to a hereditary society.

Rather than rest upon the laurels of the past, and his immense wealth, he aggresively sought out and embraced as many officers who were Mexican War veterans as he could find, no doubt realizing that enlisting them in the cause as members would foster the interest of future generations. He was instrumental in bringing together in friendship the many Union and Confederate generals who, having fought side by side during the Mexican War, remained divided and in opposition to one another following the War of the Rebellion. In this way, he helped to heal the wounds of war during America's Era of Reconstruction.

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The following is a transcript of the proceedings published by the Aztec Club in booklet form in 1880. It includes testimonials by several of Patterson's admirers, including junior officers such as Pierre G. T. Beauregard, Winfield Scott Hancock, William Tecumseh Sherman, Zealous B. Tower and others.

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