The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The most impressive feature of the book is its comprehensiveness.
While the author acknowledges that he did not include every post in
the West, very few seem to have escaped his attention. Sites occupied
by company-sized units for a matter of months are duly recorded. The
welter of names applied to posts are sorted and cross referenced; forts
bearing the same name are differentiated; and the shiftings and reloca-
tions of the frontier garrisons are chronicled. Accompanying the text
are over 250 illustrations showing ground plans, blockhouses, build-
ings, and maps of most of the major forts and many of the obscure
outposts.
Organized alphabetically by state, the book contains seventeen chap-
ters. Each is preceded by an 1876 Rand McNally railroad map over-
printed with stars to mark the sites of the forts described. The Guide
also contains six pages of suggestions for further reading in which
many of the significant books on western forts and the frontier mili-
tary are listed and described. Unfortunately, the work does not have
an index, which would have increased its usefulness.
At first glance a Tour Guide to Old Western Forts seems to be an
abbreviated version of Robert W. Frazer's Forts of the West, Francis
Paul Prucha's A Guide to the Military Posts of the United States,
r785-1895, or Hart's own series on Forts of the Old West. On com-
parison, however, it becomes obvious that the author's objective in
this work is to provide a "tour guide" for those wanting to visit the
actual location of the posts that protected the western frontier. The
precise directions provided by the Tour Guide are not found in ear-
lier works. The book is also useful as a reference for obscure camps
and cantonments not mentioned in previous books on western forts.
Northeastern State University BRAD AGNEW
Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries. By David Dary. (New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981. Pp. xii+384. Foreword, maps,
notes, index. $17.95.)
The difficulty with picking a title for one's forthcoming book is that
readers and/or reviewers sooner or later are going to argue that it was
the wrong label for the package. In Dary's case this happened early,
the haggle being over the term "culture." I don't agree completely
with the criticism that the term is used inaccurately here. Strictly
speaking, the book covers five centuries (almost) of cattle tending in

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/. Accessed November 22, 2014.