The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Mexico, and as Civil War storm clouds gathered ominously, two experienced, ob-
servant, articulate army officers toured and reported in considerable detail on
all military installations of these areas. Here, readily available for the first time, is
true base-line information on conditions, which were intrinsically important and
also contribute to our understanding of Civil War events in the West. The offi-
cers' reports are rendered more valuable by the editor's work: clarifying, identi-
fying, summarizing, and analyzing.
Lt. Col. Joseph E. Johnston, from July to November 1859, inspected all army
posts in New Mexico (including Fort Buchanan, in present Arizona) and West
Texas as far east as Fort Inge. A year later, from September 186o to January
1861, Col. Joseph (not John, as on p. 86) K. F. Mansfield started at Galveston
and inspected seventeen posts in Texas, finishing his tour at Department Head-
quarters in San Antonio. Both officers visited Forts Inge, Quitman, Davis, Stock-
ton, Lancaster, Hudson, and Clark.
A casual reader may be turned off by the formulaic, repetitive character of the
reports, which a researcher on the other hand will likely find to be especially
valuable. The names, rank, unit assignments, etc., of officers at each post are giv-
en; the number, units, status (including guard house, hospital, other duty) of
non-coms and troops are noted; the structures of all kinds, how they were built,
their condition, and use are described; and much other data is provided. Some
substantive statements of opinion are also offered.
Mansfield's reports are much more discursive, thus generally more interest-
ing, than those by Johnston, and he also reports on more than just the forts. His
tour started at Galveston and Indianola, where he reported on the operations of
the Corps of Engineers, and Quartermaster and Subsistence departments. He
concluded at Brownsville where he reported not only on Fort Brown but also on
the departmental paymaster stationed there, and on the nearby 2nd Cavalry
camp, before going finally to San Antonio and reporting on departmental head-
quarters.
A dustjacket blurb describes the editing as "superb," but this reviewer does not
entirely agree. Jerry Thompson does very well indeed at identifying officers, and
some men of lesser rank, as to their later (especially Civil War military) careers.
However, small errors of transcription and copy editing grow more numerous as
one proceeds through the text. The use of "sic" is erratic. Few readers, probably,
will know exactly what is meant by repeated references to "hackale" structures
(pp. 93 ff.), or to those of "mud concrete" (p. 124, implied to be distinct from
adobe). The index is incomplete, with no recognition of the identity of Camp
Stockton and Fort Stockton, for instance. But the documentary essence is here
and this important book belongs in every library seriously devoted to the military
and Civil War history of Texas and New Mexico.
Las Cruces, New Mexzco John Porter Bloom
Her Majesty's Texans: Two English Immigrants in Reconstruction Texas. By Robert J.
Robertson. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998. Pp. xi+172.
Preface, acknowledgments, illustrations, epilogue, notes, bibliography, in-
dex. ISBN o-8o96-841-1. $29.95, cloth.)

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed September 21, 2014.