The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Book Reviews

makes available to a wide audience the most important sources created by the
expedition's participants. Baker has cast a wide net with the book, including
Ruffner's official report "Survey of the Headwaters of Red River[,] Tex.," origi-
nally printed in the 1877 Report of the Secretary of War, a transcription of
Hunnius's daily diary and the illustrations it contained; an atlas of seventeen
maps recording the survey's route and the terrain; and McCauley's "Notes on
the Ornithology of the Region About the Source of the Red River of Texas ... ."
The book is thoroughly annotated (with ornithologist Kenneth D. Seyffert pro-
viding the annotations for McCauley's report and Baker the rest of the book)
and has a usable index. Dan L. Flores provides a brief foreword for the volume.
Primary sources are the foundation from which history is written, and Baker
has provided readers with several such sources in this volume. The book is not
one that will appeal to the casual reader because military reports-and these are
no exception-are often dry, dispassionate, and scientific. Ironically, the same
characteristics that make them important and reliable sources can make them
dull reading! The same cannot be said for Hunnius's diary, which readers will
find detailed, observant, and able to hold interest. The book, however, is an
important one because the sources it contains reflect the U.S. military's pen-
chant in the nineteenth century to reveal and understand the natural world. If
you have an interest in environmental history, the Panhandle, military explo-
ration, and mapping, you will want a copy of this book on your shelves.
University of Texas at Arlington GERALD D. SAXON
Raw Frontier: Armed Conflict Along the Texas Coastal Bend, Vol. I. By Keith Guthrie.
(Austin: Eakin Press, 1998. Pp. xiv+162. Preface, prologue, illustrations,
appendices, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-57168-234-1. $19.95, cloth.)
"Raw Frontier" is a term that the editors of the Houston Telegraph and Register
used to describe savage Indian attacks that occurred west of the Colorado River.
According to Guthrie, families living in that area "developed a sense of commu-
nity that helped them meet these challenges [bandits, Indians, and unscrupu-
lous individuals] head on. A neighbor might be one or ten miles distant, but he
would come running with his gun if called upon. It was this protective bond that
drew communities and individuals together to solve their problems and grow.
The bond helped them build schools, churches, and communities" (p. vii).
The "community development through armed defense" commentary seems to
want a thesis. Guthrie, however, fails to follow through on his proposition. This
book, contrary to its theme and its site-specific title, is largely a perfunctory nar-
rative about the Texas Revolution. Other than the author's preface and notes,
the book is made up of a prologue, nine chapters, and appendices. Chapters two
through seven are a rehash of events and combat actions that occurred during
Texas's 1835-1836 war against Mexico's centralist government. In support of
those chapters, the appendices are devoted to rosters of various Texas units that
took part in the revolution.
Except for geography, the prologue, chapters two, eight, and nine have no con-
nection to the rest of the book. The prologue offers a synopsis of the Spanish set-
tlement of Texas and details the subsequent filibuster expeditions that planted

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed September 22, 2014.