The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 569
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selves could suffer every sort of inconvenience to human com-
fort, expose themselves to the dangers of the land and its native
inhabitants, and still laugh when an Indian arrow pierced a hat
crown. No one could be better suited than Haley to write either
of the land or of those determined and self-reliant men with
whom he undoubtedly would have ridden had he been born a
The account of the actual building of the post is illustrative
of the difficulties of frontier construction. Frequent changes of
command were accompanied by changes in types of building
materials. The enthusiasm of one commander, John P. Hatch,
resulted in his being nicknamed "Dobe" and in soldiers puddling
mud to make the Mexican brick, but the final result was a well-
ordered post of substantial rock buildings eventually completed
even to the flagpole that difficulties of transportation caused to
lie for more than a year at Fredericksburg before a freighter
could be secured to tackle the job of bringing it out. The main
task of the fort, of course, was to protect the area and its in-
habitants from the depredations of the neighboring Indian
tribes. The most outstanding of Concho's commanders was
Ranald S. Mackenzie, who first arrived in September, 1869, and
immediately began sending and leading expeditions in search
of the Indians. After a period of duty at another post he returned
in February, 1871, and continued his activities against the warring
tribes until the plains area was finally made safe for the settlers
who soon were to push their herds out the Mackenzie Trail. The
shorter campaigns of William R. Shafter and Nicholas Nolan are
In style of presentation the work achieves the all-too-rare com-
bination of fluid, live writing and scholarly documentation. The
completeness of the index will increase the usefulness of the
study to scholars and researchers though doubtless they will find
themselves reading far beyond the topic of their special search.
The book is a "must" for any collector of Texana, of county
history, of military history, of Indian accounts, or of the Western
frontier in general. It has already received the 1952 Summerfield
G. Roberts Award and doubtless will receive further recognition
from other similar organizations.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/673/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.