The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

626 Southwestern Historical Quarterly April
and Jonathan Wainwright passed through on assignment over the years. Fort
Sam supplied Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during their training. In the
1910os the post had a hand in pilot training for the new Army Air Corps. Military
medical training and research represents the fort's bread and butter in the pre-
sent day. In 1856, at the order of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, camels were
posted at Fort Sam Houston in an experiment to test the animals' hardiness as
military transport.
Cagle's volume will be of interest to lay readers, particularly retired military
personnel who might wish to kindle memories of their time at Fort Sam. Its
wealth of photographs and detail will entertain and inform all readers.
Texas A&M Universzty-Commerce Ricky Floyd Dobbs
Camp Kenedy, Texas. By Robert H. Thonhoff. (Austin: Eakin Press, 2003. Pp.
xii+297. Preface, acknowledgments, maps, photographs, illustrations, tables,
epilogue, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-57168-723-8.
$39.95, cloth.)
Eakin Press has a tradition of bringing out the most interesting aspects of
Texas history in its publications, and Camp Kenedy, Texas, is no exception. Locat-
ed about sixty miles southeast of San Antonio, the small town of Kenedy was the
site of a World War I training base, a Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps
(CCC) camp, and World War II alien internment and prisoner of war (POW)
camps. Robert H. Thonhoff, a Texas historian best known for his work with the
Spanish and Mexican colonial periods, took a personal interest in the Camp
Kenedy history. From the friendships he made with German POWs who had
been relocated to the camp and people from Kenedy who had worked at the
camp in its various incarnations, Thonhoff is able to relate many of the intimate
details of life at the camp. The account of German prisoners painting swastikas
on turtles that wandered into camp is highly entertaining. Also, while I had
known about our nation's World War II Japanese internment camps, I was un-
aware that American camps held German, Japanese, and Italian nationals that
had been rounded up in other countries.
Camp Kenedy is organized chronologically. As Thonhoff explains in his pref-
ace, the history of the World War I army training base was a late addition to his
manuscript, and this becomes evident as one reads through the book. The earli-
est history of Camp Kenedy is significantly less well developed than the rest and
there is little transition from the World War I camp to the CCC encampment.
While the book's narrative is generally easy to read, the author inserts a number
of newspaper articles and long tables and lists that break up the flow of the nar-
rative. Some of these would have been better presented as appendices, and there
are a number of photographs that might have been placed between chapters to
help with continuity. The strength of the book comes from the detailed presen-
tation of camp life during its three World War II aspects: alien detention camp,
German POW camp, and Japanese POW camp. I found it unusual, though, for
the author to include a Japanese POW's life story as a separate appendix.
Homage to America's World War II veterans is certainly worthy, but I thought
Thonhoff over used Tom Brokaw's term "the greatest generation."

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed June 2, 2015.