The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

letters relating to military affairs in 1835-1836; Wyly Martin's
address to the people of Texas in July, 1835; and so on. In ad-
dition to these and other similar entries, Texas scholars will
also inevitably be intrigued by the numerous "dictations" that
were gathered in Texas but too late to influence greatly the writ-
ing of Bancroft's 'Texas history. Additional Texas-oriented en-
tries are included in the sections of the guide devoted to other
regions of the American West, all of which are admirably keyed
for rapid identification in the index.
In summary, the first volume of the Bancroft guide is an ex-
cellent research tool that should recommend itself widely to
readers of the Quarterly. The individual researcher will find
increasing opportunity to exploit the publication, which is al-
ready being used to good advantage in the University of Texas
Archives. CHESTER V. KIELMAN
The University of Texas Archives
The Troopers: An Informal History of the Plains Cavalry, 1865-
189o. By S. E. Whitman. New York (Hastings House Pub-
lishers), 1961. Pp. 256. Drawings, index. $4.95-
This "informal history" should have a wide popular appeal.
It is short, is racy and romantic, and is without footnotes. It is
not complicated by thought or synthesis. It is not a book about
fighting, but is rather a collection of minutiae about almost every
aspect of cavalry life behind the campaigns. The narrative, laced
with anecdotes and old cavalry songs and sayings, consists mainly
of passages on the character and position of Plains Cavalry
regiments; on their peerless Indian enemies; on cavalry equip-
ment and organizations, weapons and mounts.
Though the author is prone to overwrite, he does demonstrate
literary ability in the chapter on the customs and traditions of
the cavalry; its military protocol; its esprit de corps as symbolized
in regimental flags and regimental names; and finally its termi-
nology. United States cavalrymen, the author suggests, invariably
originated some of the most colorful colloquialisms in the Amer-
ican language: "Belly Robber" for the mess sergeant; "Latrine
Lawyer" for an enlisted man who gave bad advice to troopers
in trouble; "Holy Joe" for the post chaplain no matter what his

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed April 24, 2014.