The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 267

Book Reviews

the Civil War. The location and construction of the post are described
in early chapters, and the remainder of the book is devoted to a fast-
paced account of the clash between red and white men. Soldiers
trained in tactics employed on Civil War battlefields had a difficult time
adapting to the unconventional warfare of the Plains Indians. The
slow-moving frontier army posed little threat to the Indians until the
Fourth Cavalry commanded by Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie was
ordered to Fort Richardson. A hard-driving West Point officer who had
earned his reputation in the Civil War, Mackenzie put his command in
the field and kept it on the trail of Comanche and Kiowa war parties.
His success was a factor in the rapid advance of the frontier, which
quickly swept beyond Fort Richardson. For a brief time the Texas post
had been the largest troop concentration in America and the focal
point of military action. By the mid-187os it had become a backwater.
Although troops from Fort Richardson participated in the Red River
War of 1874-1875, that campaign marked the end of warfare on the
Southern Plains and sealed the fate of the post. In 1878, the War De-
partment abandoned the fort.
During its brief existence Fort Richardson had been in the eye of the
storm. The Warren wagon train massacre, scores of patrols, scrim-
mages, battles, and arduous campaigns, dashing cavalrymen, painted
Plains warriors, and buffalo soldiers were all part of the fort's history.
Allen Lee Hamilton has written a colorful and exciting account of a vi-
tal frontier outpost. The book is a genuine contribution to the litera-
ture of the military-Indian frontier of the Southern Plains and will in-
terest both general readers and serious students of history.
Northeastern State University BRAD AGNEW
The Ragged Rebel: A Common Soldier m W. H. Parsons' Texas Cavalry,
x86I-865. By B. P. Gallaway. (Austin: University of Texas Press,
1988. Pp. xiv+186. Preface, acknowledgments, maps, epilogue,
notes, bibliography, index. $19.95.)
Historians analyzing the Civil War tend to overlook the Confederate
Trans-Mississippi Department, the vast region west of the great river.
Military actions, many would argue, did not alter the outcome of the
conflict and only a few campaigns actually merit serious study. One
need only consider the number of works devoted to Robert E. Lee's
army of Northern Virginia to recognize this disparity. Even more strik-
ing is the paucity of material relating to the soldiers who fought on the
"other side" of the Mississippi. This book, therefore, is a welcome addi-
tion to a frequently neglected field.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.