The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 185
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Custer, James Wilson, Judson Kilpatrick, Alfred Pleasonton, and
George Stoneman. On the Confederate side were fabulous "Jeb"
Stuart, Bedford Forrest and "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, equally
The authors properly devote considerable space to Cavalry's
most distinctive and perhaps greatest work, namely its part in
the winning of the West. Tribute has been heaped upon the
pioneers who braved the vast spaces beyond the Mississippi to
establish settlements and promote development, but perhaps not
so well understood in the popular mind was that this was not
possible without cavalry. Forces were inadequate, privations great,
casualties numerous, food bad, and neglect by authorities too often
the rule. There were long, dull, lonely periods for officers and
men between the thrilling Indian encounters that lasted from the
early thirties until as late as 18go. All of the important and lesser
fights are covered in a general way, but the authors lapse into
pages of detail to tell once again the ever-appealing story of Custer
and his last fight. They take notice of the famous Anheuser-Busch
lithograph, circulated through thousands of bars and even more
genteel places, depicting the colorful leader standing magnificent-
ly in a scene of carnage, succumbing to his fate. This picture has
done as much to perpetuate the Custer story as all of the endless
accounts. It seems somewhat anomalous that cavalrymen make
much of this bad example of cavalry leadership!
World War I saw the beginning of the end of mounted cavalry,
as the Western Front in Europe offered so little occasion for its
employment. Years before and after World War I were occupied
with the distractions of the Mexican border troubles, including
the futile Pershing Expedition undertaken to punish Villa. World
War II sealed the fate of horse cavalry. The mechanical horse with
the gasoline motor, capable in general of more shock power and
more mobility, had overtaken the more picturesque type. The
missions and need for cavalry continue and are much the same,
but the powers that be have decided that the mechanical horse
(organized into armored divisions) is better fitted for these tasks.
General Herr strongly protests the soundness of this decision, and
is supported in his view by several famous modern cavalrymen,
including George S. Patton, who deplored its absence in the North
Africa and the Sicily campaigns.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/206/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.