The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 130
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
man, and surveyor. In the present work he suggests that this is still
true, but that their greatest contribution was as "agents of empire,"
and as the title claims, as the "sword of the Republic." And this not
in unattractive imperialism, but as the John Wayne-type public ser-
vant who does his all not for personal gain or even professional ad-
vancement but as the personification of civilian policy from Washing-
ton. The purpose of the policy is the fulfillment of the American
Professor Prucha argues his point well. He admits that he is writing
about an era that is, at first glance, unexciting. But he claims that the
ground work laid during this period makes possible all the successes
of the future. Although plagued with a niggardly Congress and a
suspicious public, the army managed to get itself born and to grow to
some professional status during this era, and just in time to serve the
nation in its first war outside its borders and its worst one within
them. And he drives home the point by writing nearly 400 pages that
depict every milestone in that process. No incident seems too small
or obscure to find its way in, and, like the army's morning report, it
tells the whole, dull picture.
The author has generally done a fine job of presenting his facts in
an orderly and readable style, although the work is perhaps too long
and is clogged with far too many long quotes that make the reader
want to jump to the next page. If he is weak on his handling of the
War of 1812, he is strong on the Creek Wars, the Florida difficulties,
and Indian removal. One grating habit is his repeated reference to
the American Indian as an aborigine, but perhaps this is only a personal
Finally, Prucha has found himself in a dilemma. His book about
the army is also a book about the Indian. Reflecting a contemporary
sympathy for the underdog redmen, he also has to keep sympathy
with his soldiers. It is sometimes difficult to balance two heroes who
oppose each other. But this is also the dilemma of modern American
society, and in this case, it comes off fairly well. For the fan of army
vs. Indian books, this one is highly recommended. For the professional
historian its best chapter deals with the army's role in conquering the
wilderness while trying to feed, house, and supply itself.
Stephen F. Austin University
ARCHIE P. MCDONALD
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/142/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.