The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Compromise of 1850 (enacted only after Taylor's death in office). But
he castigates Taylor's uncompromising position as an unrealistic desire
to force the South, and Texas, to back down in order to allow a perma-
nent solution to the sectional struggle.
Concluding that Taylor "was and remains an enigma" (p. 327), Bauer
finds no deep reason for the man's devotion to the Union other than his
forty-year military career. His Whiggish quest for political unity, his
resolve to defend the Constitution as supreme law, and his role as a
wealthy slaveholder who admitted he would be the first to take up arms
should the North ever threaten slavery's security in the South-a prin-
ciple accepted by Abraham Lincoln until the middle of the Civil War-
do not figure into Bauer's understanding of Taylor's consistency as a
conservative nationalist. Taken in tandem with Hamilton's biography,
however, this fine critical study will provoke fruitful debate over a host
of pivotal issues. It is a formidable addition to the prestigious L.S.U.
Southern Biography Series.
University of Texas at Austin T. MICHAEL PARRISH
Phil Sheridan and His Army. By Paul Andrew Hutton. (Lincoln: Univer-
sity of Nebraska Press, 1985. Pp. xvi+479. Preface, maps, illustra-
tions, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95, cloth; $14.95, paper.)
Paul A. Hutton keeps Phil Sheridan at the center of his well-written,
well-illustrated narrative history, effectively arguing that "Little Phil,"
not William T. Sherman, was mainly responsible for the army's Indian-
fighting in the Trans-Mississippi. The author makes it plain that Sheri-
dan viewed the Indian wars in the West as a "clear-cut struggle of civi-
lization against barbarism" (p. 129). Hutton offers an explanation of
why Sheridan, "despite the fact that he took an active part in some cam-
paigns and planned the overall strategy for most of them, never be-
came identified as an Indian fighter" (p. 345). Sheridan and "his army"
had to devote considerable effort to southern Reconstruction between
1867-1877. Furthermore, Sheridan had other diversions, such as
acting as the U.S. Army's observer during the Franco-Prussian War,
making frequent visits to the North and East to attend reunions of Civil
War veterans, dealing with labor strikes, and providing assistance to
Yellowstone National Park.
Nevertheless, Sheridan prosecuted the wars of the 186os and 1870s
with energy and some skill. He usually planned for several converg-
ing columns to move into hostile territory, often in winter when the
well-supplied army had the Indians at a disadvantage. Hutton may be
overly critical of Sheridan's shortcomings in the Great Sioux War of
1876, but by then the outcome of the Indian wars was not in question.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed October 1, 2014.