The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 124
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and he glimpsed, at least, most of the current and future military
greats, a partial roll being Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, Robert
E. Lee, U. S. Grant, Braxton Bragg, Albert S. Johnston, A. P.
Hill, and George B. McClellan. Although relative and minor,
his "combat" record carried the Mexican War, the Seminole
Indian War, the "Mormon War," and the Civil War as chief of
staff to General McClellan, his son-in-law. He also had detached
service on court-martial panels and reviews and tours of duty as
recruiting agent at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Hartford, Con-
But Marcy's major exploits were as trail blazer, locater of Indian
reservations and frontier forts, explorer and cartographer of "tierra
incognita" and "cross timber" areas, and writer of his experiences.
In these connections he led five "expeditions." His first was to
escort, with Black Beaver as guide, gold-seeker emigrants from
Fort Smith to Santa Fe. His party returned by circuitous southern
route in 1849. Next, and most notable, came the scientific explo-
ration and charting of the headwaters of the Red River in 1852.
The famous John Bushman was scout for this well-organized
expedition, and it is the one during which a rumor that the
Comanche Indians had massacred the Marcy party received such
credence in the United States that his relatives held memorial
services at Greenwich, Massachusetts, his birthplace. Then fol-
lowed his surveys in the Southwest and in Texas, a "forbidding
land" in which the only thing he liked was occasional good hunt-
ing. His final "western" expedition and most intrepid feat, a
phase of the "Mormon War," was the relief expedition from
Camp Scott, Wyoming, to Fort Massachusetts, New Mexico, in the
winter of 1857-1858. Writer Marcy recorded his experiences in
Prairie Traveller (1859), Thirty Years of Army Life on the Bor-
der (1866), and Border Reminiscences (1871). His journals and
reports on expeditions are available as government documents.
If Dr. Hollon had intended simply to "bring into his own again"
this rather obscure figure to all but "Trail" historians (albeit he
makes a studied effort to do this), he might have been content
merely to review and reappraise the autobiographical works and
government papers mentioned above. But the author wished
primarily, we believe, to present a new, personal study of Marcy
and expand it into a sort of family biography. Mrs. Mary Mann
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/142/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.