The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 117

Book Reviews

multiplied and formed wild herds and came to be referred to as
"mustangs." Worcester tells us that the word "mustang" is an Anglo
corruption of mesteno, meaning an unbranded animal claimed by the Mesta
or stockmen's association that was introduced into Mexico from Spain"
The reader gets an excellent picture of the spread and development
of the mustang, and of its physical features, habits, and characteristics:
its toughness and adaptability, intelligence and alertness, stamina and
endurance. The author's descriptions are most interesting and well
This little book is more than the story of the horse in Spanish America,
for the author tells of the horse in the English and French colonies and
among the various Indian tribes, and the circumstances under which the
number of horses increased in the Southwest, Mississippi Valley,
Southeast, Great Western Plains, and the Great Basin of the Rockies,
from the Rio Grande to Canada.
In his epilogue, Worcester tells of some of the efforts in recent years
to preserve the true mustang, a vanishing species of horse that played
such an important part in the conquest of the American Southwest and
in southwestern history for two centuries.
The author has compiled an important and significant bibliography
on the mustang, and has supplied footnotes to document his story. He
has, however, regrettably given many lengthy quotations without any foot-
notes whatsoever, and his style of citing sources is inconsistent and
sometimes not clear. Yet the book makes excellent reading and is recom-
mended to those who are interested in a dependable story of the mustang
in America.
The Old Army. A Portrait of the American Army zn Peacetime, 1784 - 1898. By
Edward M. Coffman. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Pp. ix + 514. $35.)
Military historians have studied combat for centuries, but the small,
regular forces that survived between the conflicts have been badly slighted.
In America this generalization has been particularly true. Because of the
strength of the citizen-soldier tradition, the regular army has been ostra-
cized from the mainstream of society.
In The Old Army, Edward Coffman has done a tremendous job of cor-
recting this historical oversight. He explores the peacetime army in sur-
prising detail, taking care to examine why men chose to join the service,


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.