The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Book Reviews

value of his narrative. Although his diary no longer exists, many passages in the
book are obviously taken from its daily entries, and his extremely detailed and
generally accurate account of the division's movements and engagements makes
this book a must for anyone interested in the war in the Trans-Mississippi.
University of Arkansas ANNEJ. BAILEY
The Most Promzszng Young Officer. By Michael D. Pierce. (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1993. Pp. xiii+288. Preface, introduction, notes, bibliogra-
phy, index. ISBN 0-80612-494-6. $24.95.)
Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald S. Mackenzze. By Charles M. Robinson.
(Austin: State House Press, 1993. Pp. xviii+392. Acknowledgments, fore-
word, prologue, footnotes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-88051-ooo-6.
$29.95.)
One of the most important Indian fighters in the Trans-Mississippi in the
decades after the Civil War was Ranald Slidell Mackenzie. He graduated first in
his class at West Point in 1862 and, like George A. Custer, he rose rapidly in the
Union Army during the Civil War. He was seriously wounded at Second Bull
Run, at Gettysburg, and early in the fighting at Petersburg, after which he had
two of the fingers on his right hand amputated. He fought fiercely at Openquan
(Third Winchester) and at Cedar Creek, where he was again wounded, this time
in the foot. By the end of the war he had become a brigadier general of volun-
teers. In his memoirs, Grant referred to Mackenzie as the "most promising
young officer in the army."
After the war, Mackenzie was ordered to Texas, where he commanded the
black Fourth Cavalry, which he molded into one of the best fighting units in the
army. In response to a series of Kickapoo raids into Texas from Mexico, Macken-
zie, encouraged by Gen. Phil Sheridan, led a 159-mile foray deep into Coahuila,
attacking a Kickapoo and Lipan village. In 1874 Mackenzie, whom the Kiowas
called "Bad Hand," also led a winter campaign resulting in the destruction of a
Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne village in Palo Duro Canyon. Not only were
the Indians routed, but fifteen hundred of their horses and mules were shot.
Later, at Fort Sill, Mackenzie did much to persuade the last of the Comanches
to surrender. He also helped elevate Quanah Parker to principal chief of the Co-
manches. Mackenzie quarreled with the Indian Bureau over the chronic short-
age of food and supplies for the Reservation Comanches, and his tour of duty at
Fort Sill was the least enjoyable of his career. In 1876, in the aftermath of the
disaster on the Little Bighorn, Mackenzie was sent north. He destroyed a North-
ern Cheyenne village, after which many of the Cheyennes were certain to have
frozen to death.
Back on the Texas frontier in 1878, Mackenzie again sent troops across the
border. This time, however, he found himself confronted by Mexican regulars
and barely managed to avoid a major confrontation that could easily have led to
war. Later, in Colorado, he helped quell a Ute disturbance, and as commander

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/. Accessed August 30, 2015.