The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972 Page: 397
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Day derived the title for his book, in part, from Green's reference to
the "tournament of goose-quills" in which he became involved.
Day has accepted the statement made by some of the chroniclers
of the expedition that they had the "verbal approval" of General
Alexander Somervell, whose authority they had defied, to advance
upon Mier. The dust jacket blurb erroneously states that, "The Mier
Expedition which he [Sam Houston] authorized was a thorn in his
side for almost two decades." Sam Houston did not authorize the
expedition! Day has erred in saying that "Somervell disbanded the
troops on December 19," and he has allowed himself to be carried
away with Green's account when that individual was not with the
main body of prisoners for much of the time after their capture.
In dealing with William P. Stapp's book on the expedition, the
author has subjected the reader to a good dose of Sir Walter Scott;
Attila, the Hun; Henry Fielding, and others. In addition Day has
attempted to weaken the fact that Stapp plagiarized descriptive data
about Mexico from Brantz Mayer's Mexico as It Was and as It Is,
published the year before Stapp's account.
Chapter V deals with the short accounts written or dictated many
years after the expedition by no less than seven other participants
(George B. Erath, John C. C. Hill, Willis Coplan, George Lord,
George W. Trahern, John Rufus Alexander, and William A. A. Wal-
lace), without making any effort to test their reliability. Considerable
useful biographical data is given about each diarist.
The final chapter of Day's book has nothing to do with the literature
of the expedition, but is devoted to the efforts by citizens of LaGrange
and elsewhere, through the publication of the Texas Monument,
July 2o, 185o-February 24, 1855, to finance a monument to the
memory of the Texans decimated at Salado, Mexico, or massacred
on the battlefield of Salado near San Antonio, Texas.
Aside from a number of spelling errors, some split infinitives, and
a few ungrammatical sentences, Day has provided a good bibliography
and a place-name index for the convenience of the reader. He has,
however, failed to make a distinction between primary and secondary
sources used. Despite the flaws which interfere with the serious
scholar's use of the book, the casual reader will, nevertheless, find
it interesting and enjoyable. It does capture the spirit of the men
of the Mier Expedition.
Texas AI&M University
J. MILTON NANCE
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972, periodical, 1972; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/m1/409/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.