The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 158
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
as much for having the courage to tell about Johnston Pettigrew as for his ex-
Texas Chrstian Universzty GRADY MCWHINEY
America's National Battlefield Parks: A Guide. By Joseph E. Stevens. (Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1990. Pp. xiv+337. Preface, maps, black-
and-white photographs, index. $29.95.)
This excellent guide will be useful to park visitors and history buffs for many
years. The book is organized according to regional classification (North Atlan-
tic, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, South, and West), and covers battles from the
French and Indian War (1), American Revolution (11), War of 1812 (2), Civil
War (18), Indian Wars (4), and World War II (2, in Hawaii and Guam), for a
totaly of thirty-eight sites. Joseph E. Stevens profusely illustrated his book with
well-chosen photographs of the battle sites, the weapons used there, and the
personalities involved. It is worth noting that, in most cases, Stevens awards a
credit line to the individual photographer, not only the archives, museum, or
agency providing the picture. The author gives helpful descriptions for self-
guided tours, information on museums, gift shops, fuel, lodging, and places to
eat. In addition he reserves treatment in special "boxed" essays, set aside from
the text, for some personalities (such as George Custer and Benedict Arnold),
results of archaeological surveys of sites, buildings of interest, weapons, or ex-
amples of contemporary letters. The book has a splendid index.
Stevens gives concise accounts of the battles in spritely narratives boosted by
the deft selection of quotations by participants. His battle narratives are assisted
by excellent diagramatic maps, which, though they do not show elevations, of-
fer at a glance a clear understanding of the campaigns and battles he describes.
Most of his narratives are quite good and will be appreciated by the wide audi-
ence this book deserves. In one instance, however, Stevens slips in an anach-
ronistic phrase. In his introduction to Andrew Jackson's Battle of New Orleans
(at Chalmette Plantation) toward the end of the War of 1812, Stevens reminds
readers that treaty negotiations had already been held in Europe and then as-
serts: "Had rapid, trans-oceanic communication been possible, the battle would
not have been fought" (p. 161). No doubt the availability of many technological
marvels of the late nineteenth or twentieth centuries would have changed
events of Jackson's time, but Stevens would have done just as well to have left
this speculation out. Also, Stevens calls Old Hickory's soldiers "a ragtag force of
5,000 volunteers," and of course many of Jackson's men were volunteers, but
he commanded regiments of U.S. Army regulars in the battle as well. On an-
other matter, it may disappoint some readers that the author failed to include a
short bibliography for each chapter. Certainly, the space was available and such
references would have enhanced the guide's value as a reference book.
These minor quibbles aside, Stevens has prepared one of the best works of
its kind, which will benefit some of the millions who visit battlefields and forts
Texas A&M Universzty
JOSEPH G. DAWSON III
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/184/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.