The account of the American army soldiers who deserted to fight in the Mexican army. The author uncovers the reasons for these desertions, presenting the soldiers' stories as they are revealed in records of the time. Many of these deserters were immigrant Irishmen, but the Saint Patrick's Battalion included men of a dozen nationalities. Those captured by the U.S. Army were court-martialed. Fifty were executed, others were whipped and branded. The Mexican government, on the other hand, viewed the men of the Saint Patrick's Battalion as heroes, awarding them honors and erecting a monument to them.