Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Taylor's army was outnumbered four to one, and was made up
almost entirely of green volunteer troops, yet Buena Vista was
an American victory, with far-reaching ramifications. The
news of the battle, as in the case of each of the three previous
victories, was at first reported as a defeat, and psychologically
gave greater impact on the public mind and spirit when the
true reports were published.
The spring and summer of 1847 were spent in camp at
Walnut Springs, and in November Taylor began his journey
homeward, where he was welcomed at New Orleans on Decem-
ber 3. He was overwhelmed with receptions. It was during
this time that "the essence of reality was expanded into the
realm of mythological exaggeration," magnified by adoring mul-
titudes and clever party managers. A campaign year was in the
offing. Taylor was placed in command of the Western Division
of the Army but saw no active service; a long chapter of his
life was closed. Henceforth he was to forsake the military and
plunge into political pursuits.
This is a most excellent biography, and a good deal more. It
is filled with links to frontier history and Texas in particular.
Geographically it ranges widely, and the personalties strewn
throughout its pages are prominent characters-Lincoln, Davis,
Polk, Marcy, Grant, Wool, and a score of others-all brought
in naturally and in clear perspective. The volume here reviewed
gives a vivid and engaging story of our army in terms of the
life of one who deserves to stand out as a leading figure in the
history of the advancing frontier.
CAPT. CHAS. F. WARD.
New Mexico Military Institute.
A Man Named Grant. By Helen Todd.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1940. Pp. 596. Illustrated. $3.50.
If Miss Todd's purpose was to have us follow with interest
and sympathy the career of an average American drafted by
circumstances to large undertaking, she has succeeded well.
There is neither glamorizing nor debunking. Without denying
the General any greatness that was his, the author presents him
simply as one among his fellows, in the forefront of scenes of
war and reconstruction, but overshadowing neither contempo-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/. Accessed March 6, 2015.