The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Book Reviews

This is not a narrow monograph. It is based upon a real breadth
of familiarity with and appreciation for the European mind of the
earlier modern period. It demonstrates again that philosophy begins
in wonder.
St. Edward's University FABIUS DUNN, C.S.C.
Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail. By Leo E. Oliva. Norman (Univer-
sity of Oklahoma Press), 1967. Pp. xi+226. Illustrations, maps,
bibliography, index. $4.50.
This work will go far toward offsetting the long-winded orations
which we hear so frequently today about the West being the last
stronghold of rugged individualism, of private enterprise, and of
states' rights. Oliva's book shows conclusively that the merchants who
blazed the trail of commerce across the prairies to Santa Fe requested
and got Federal aid in the form of military protection almost from
the beginning.
This interpretation is only incidental to his main theme, which
is the story of army life on the Santa Fe Trail from 1829 to 1880.
It is military history in its broadest sense: early military escorts, In-
dian fighting, Mexican and Civil War activities along the trail, and
the monotony of army life in the various military posts that served
the Santa Fe Trail-forts Mann, Atkinson, Riley, Larned, Zarah, and
Dodge in Kansas, Fort Wise (Lyon) in Colorado, and Fort Union
in New Mexico. With the posts came permanent towns and settlements,
many of them still bearing the same names, and the economic de-
velopment of the area along the trail. Oliva has drawn his picture
full scale, relating military occupation to the total settlement and
development of the Southwest and of the westward expansion of
the United States.
For Texas history buffs there are brief accounts of the ill-fated
Texan-Santa Fe Expedition of 1841, and of Jacob Snively's attempt
in 1843 to intercept and capture the merchandise of Mexican trad-
ers passing through Texas territory along the Santa Fe Trail. Snively's
expedition brought some anxious moments for Captain Philip St.
George Cooke, United States First Dragoons, who disarmed the angry
Texans and ordered them off United States' territory, thereby win-
ning their lasting hatred.
Oliva's chapter on the daily life of the garrison soldier, based on
material combed from numerous sources and splendidly organized,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed August 27, 2014.