The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Book Reviews

the scholarly, literary, and typographical craftsmanship that generally
characterize the volume. Coupled with its reasonable price, its high
quality should give this book a much wider audience than the cadets
for whom it was primarily intended.
Bowling Green State University DAVID CURTIS SKAGGS
Surfboats and Horse Marines: U.S. Naval Operations in the Mexican
War, 1846-48. By K. Jack Bauer. (Annapolis: United States
Naval Institute, 1969. Pp. xii+291. Illustrations, bibliography,
index. $ 2.50.)
Every event or sequence of events of importance in history must
have its chronicler. By chronicler I mean someone who tells as con-
scientiously as he can what really happened. To determine what ac-
tually happened professional historians must have recourse to the
manuscript record. Professor Bauer is, as far as I know, the first his-
torian to chronicle carefully the history of the United States Navy in
the War with Mexico, and he has made good use of the manuscript
records written in English. His well written book should be a useful
reference work for scholars. Any reader wishing to go deeply into
the story will have to correspond with Bauer, for there are no foot-
notes, only a detailed bibliography of sources for each chapter. How-
ever, the author should be able to document specific statements from
his dissertation upon which this book is based.
The book would have greater significance if Bauer had included
generalizations connecting his chronicle with the general condition
of the United States Navy at the time, and the role of the navy in
the life of America. This would have given it a loftier purpose, as
the greatest need in military history is to show its connection with the
rest of history. The author does include a useful list of the vessels
of the United States and the Mexican navies, but almost nothing on
the characteristics of the war vessels or on the weaponry of that era.
Every reader should learn something from this book, but he will
neither feel the drama nor gain new insights. He will enjoy the numer-
ous pictures, the excellent maps of minor engagements (including
both naval and land battles fought by sailors), and the concise ac-
counts of military action.

419

University of Florida

JOHN K. MAHON

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/. Accessed April 16, 2014.