The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly

as regards the slaves themselves" appeared "more nominal than real" (p. 190).
However, the Houstouns fell in with Stephen Pearl Andrews, who was evicted
from Texas for advocating a scheme of compensated emancipation. Notwith-
standing this episode, she predicted that freedom would soon be granted vol-
untarily. The editor's reading of indirect evidence is that the concealed purpose
of the Houstouns' journey was to promote British annexation and antislavery
schemes in Texas. The author was not ambivalent regarding the desirability of
Texas and its need for outside protection, but her commitment to abolitionism
appears marginal.
McMurry University PAUL D. LACK
New Mexzco's Buffalo Soldiers, 1866-19oo. By Monroe Lee Billington. (Niwot:
University Press of Colorado, 1991. Pp. xviii+ 258. Preface, introduction,
illustrations, maps, appendix, notes, bibliographical essay, index. $29.95.)
Monroe Billington, who teaches history at New Mexico State University in
Las Cruces, has long been concerned about the services of African American
troops in the Southwest. Familiar with the terrain and the sources (see his eight-
page bibliographical essay), he concludes that while "black soldiers in the West
have received some attention . . . their activities in New Mexico Territory have
been neglected" (p. xii). This book is his effort to overcome that neglect, to tell
their story. His work has been successful; it fills in the gaps in William Leckie's
pioneering Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West (Norman,
1967) and in Arlen Fowler's Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891 (Westport,
1971). Here in exhaustive detail is the story of those first black troops to be-
come Regulars as they served in New Mexico in the last third of the last cen-
tury. The title "Buffalo Soldiers," initially bestowed on the Tenth United States
Cavalry, was extended to the Ninth and eventually came to include the infan-
try regiments authorized by Congress in 1866 and 1869: the Thirty-eighth,
Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first (consolidated in 1869 as the Twenty-
fourth and Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry). All served at various times in New Mex-
ico Territory, and Billington has spared no expense in detailing what they did
and what hardships they suffered. Making his narrative more complete than
any earlier study, he goes back to 1866 to include the activities of two Civil War
black units, the Fifty-seventh and the 125th United States Colored Troops
(USCT), who served briefly in New Mexico.
Billington's careful research in unit and post returns counts up better than
3,500 black troops in eleven of the territory's sixteen installations. Their story
is a varied one, and Billington tells it well, giving attention to garrison activities
from basic education to baseball as well as to ceaseless scouts, patrols, and ex-
peditions to guard the mail and the payroll, recover stolen livestock, pursue
Native Americans off their reservations, improve roads, cut timber, string
telegraph wire, etc., etc. Not all of the troopers' constructive activities were
appreciated by white civilians across the Territory: Billington has two quite
revealing chapters, "Prejudice and Discrimination" and "Soldiers and Civil Dis-
turbances," which latter includes clarifying treatment of those violent out-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed September 20, 2014.