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

Book Reviews

fore the regiment was ordered to return to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. In
1881-1882 Bode returned to Texas, where his regiment bivouacked briefly at
Fort Concho, and soon headed to Fort Stockton and on to Fort Davis, a march
of more than four hundred miles from the railroad at Eastland, where the men
had begun their journey on foot. Bode also wrote of his experiences with black
soldiers, and with the culture of Mexican residents of far western Texas. He re-
marked that he marched and seldom had any use for his weapons other than to
kill snakes or hunt game for meals.
Bode's narrative is valuable not only because it is one of few such records
(most enlisted men were not as literate as he and left no such narratives), but al-
so because his experiences were ordinary, and he described these daily duties in-
terestingly. Bode's knowledge as an amateur naturalist, his boredom, and his
opinions of officers, sergeants, deserters, enlisted men, and practically every-
thing else he saw provide a glimpse of what an infantryman thought, what he
saw, and what his life was like at the end of the army's constabulary period on
the frontier. The editor's careful checking of government documents to verify
Bode's comments lends added credibility to the work. This book is a contribu-
tion to military, Texas, and social history of the frontier.
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater JOE A. STOUT JR.
Pioneer Woman Educator: The Progressive Spirit of Annie Webb Blanton. By Debbie
Mauldin Cottrell. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1993. Pp.
xxii+130. Preface, acknowledgments, introduction, photographs, conclu-
sion, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-89096-543-9. $11.95.)
The publication of Cottrell's University of Texas master's thesis is an impor-
tant milestone in the study of Texas history. This biography of Annie Webb Blan-
ton, Texas's first female superintendent of public instruction, jumps headfirst
into the waters of Texas Progressivism in which others have only waded: educa-
tional reform, feminism, suffragist leaders, and the rise of professionalism. It is
remarkable, too, that we have waited so long for the first full treatment of the
life of "the state's most significant female educator of this century" (p. 130).
Lyndon Johnson charged that during the 192os in Texas most people were
busy "debating whether we were wet or dry, whether we were prohibitionists or
anti-prohibitionists ... whether we were Klan or anti-Klan," while "one teacher
had seven grades to teach in a school that was falling down and a lady that was
underpaid." Annie Webb Blanton probably would have agreed. Her life embod-
ied the spirit of the Progressive era in Texas. She fought for woman suffrage,
professionalism in education, rural school reform, and prohibition, and op-
posed the Klan. She was a product of her time, but she also exerted a significant
influence upon Texas Progressive reform from her highly visible offices.
Cottrell's chronological narrative of Annie Webb Blanton's life is well support-
ed by extensive research in manuscript collections, including Blanton's personal
correspondence, and a wide assortment of secondary sources. It is fortunate that

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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 October 31, 2014.