The Mexican War (1846-1848)  is the first war that was reported in daily newspapers of that time period. The war was fought over westward expansion and the movement of American pioneers into areas claimed by Mexico.
President Polk believed that the future of America hinged on the purchase of land above the Rio Grande River to California. Mexico rebuffed the idea of selling the land. The annexation of Texas in 1845 was the final spark in a very smoldering situation. President Polk dispatched Brigadier General Zachary Taylor along with 3000 troops southwest to the Rio Grande to protect the area.
A Mexican Calvary force crossed the Rio Grande on April 25, 1846, killing and capturing a detachment of Americans. On May 11, 1846, President Polk asked Congress for a declaration of war.
This war was extremely controversial and this short summary does not do it Justice. I highly recommend that you "Google" the Mexican War and read about it in full details.
The men of Chesterfield County and the surrounding area were not exempt from this war. I do not know how many local men served in the War; but, we do have one brave young man that gave his life in this war.
Stephen Purvis was a Private in Company F, Palmetto Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, during the Mexican War.
The Palmetto Regiment was organized in December 1846. The regiment served valiantly during the campaign.
Stephen died in June 1847 at Perote, Mexico. Stephen is buried in the Purvis Cemetery off of Shiloh Acres Road in Chesterfield, SC.
Not much is known about Stephen because of the destruction of records during the Civil War. Based on the research I have completed, Stephen was a son of Vicy Purvis. He had a brother John "Jack" Purvis that married Sarah "Sallie" Huggins and a sister, Sarah that married Elijah Sellers. From the 1830 census for Chesterfield, we know that Vicy Purvis household had a female, age 15-19 and 3 males, ages 10-14. Based on these date Stephen was born between 1816 and 1820. When he died in June 1847, he was approximately 26-30 years of age.
|Stephen Purvis Tombstone|
On 8 December 1848, the SC House of Representatives authorized a medal for all the officers and men that served in the War from South Carolina. Descendants of Stephen Purvis still have his medal today displayed in their home.
I had the honor to visit with relatives of Stephen Purvis and viewing this Medal some time ago. It's a beautiful medal.
 South Carolina in the Mexican War, A History of the Palmetto Regiment of Volunteers 1846-1917 by Jack Allen Meyer, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1439 Senate Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29211, page 246.
 1830 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page: 258; Line 15, Household of Vicy Purvis; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 29 April 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M19_172.
 My thanks to Tony Chibbaro for the use of these two photos: http://www.angelfire.com/sc2/tokenofthemonth/token007/.