than about Loring. He included no personal observations by Loring,
Another of the book's weaknesses is its style: the numerous di-
gressions are distracting and the author's disregard for chronology
is often confusing. Finally, Wessels included neither footnotes nor
a bibliography to assist readers in judging standards of scholarship.
The weaknesses are overcome somewhat by the book's attributes,
however. Its content seems fairly accurate. This reviewer found
Loring's military career interesting and the interpretive summaries
of wars in which Loring participated engrossing. Other students
of the nineteenth-century military history will probably also find
the book interesting. Readers specializing in the Mexican War and
the Civil War will enjoy it the most.
University of South Dakota HERBERT T. HOOVER
The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-z891. By Arlen L. Fowler.
(Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Corporation, 1971.
Pp. xviii+ 167. Notes, illustrations, bibliography, index.)
This volume about the 24th and 25th Infantry on the frontier
is the work of a history professor who served with the remnant
of the 25th Infantry just prior to integration of the United States
Army in the 1950's. His account begins in 1869 with the consolida-
tion of four black regiments into two, which were stationed in Texas.
There they garrisoned forts, built or repaired buildings and roads,
strung telegraph lines, guarded stage lines, escorted government sup-
ply and survey parties, patrolled, and served in several major cam-
paigns against Indians and border bandits. From 188o to 1891 the
25th Infantry garrisoned forts in the Dakotas and Montana, while
the 24th rendered similar service in the Indian Territory, Arizona,
and New Mexico. The black troops maintained rates of desertion
and alcoholism well below those of white regiments despite hard
and often monotonous service, poor housing conditions, efforts to
disband them, and civilian discrimination.
Educational efforts by regimental chaplains provide the freshest
material in this study. The most successful instructor, George G.
Mullins, rose from chaplain of the 25th Infantry to become chief
of education in the United States Army and strengthened its entire
program on the basis of his experiences. Allen Allensworth, black
chaplain of the 24th Infantry, addressed the National Education
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed March 1, 2015.