The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 606

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

sources. The absence of Apache accounts means that Sweeney has had to do a
considerable amount of hypothesizing as to the movements of his subject. There
are countless instances of the author couching his descriptions of Cochise's ac-
tivities in phrases such as "Cochise was probably" present (p. 20) or that an
Apache leader was "in all likelihood Cochise" (p. 135). Further muddying the
historical record are the variations employed by Anglos in spelling Cochise's
name. In one contemporary document, for example, an army officer refers to
him as both "Chicusa" and "Choqueese" (p. 235).
In spite of the one-sidedness of the available documentation, Sweeney has
spent many years ferreting out an impressive amount of information about the
Apache wars. (In fact, the sheer volume of data presented here might over-
whelm the casual reader.) At times, Sweeney's long association with his protago-
nist seems to color his objectivity, as in his comparison of the ferocity of each
side in these bloody wars, but in spite of this, the advanced student of Indian
warfare along our southern border will welcome this book.
University of Houston-Downtown JAMES M. MCCAFFREY
Without Quarter: The Wichita Expedition and the Fight on Crooked Creek. By William Y.
Chalfant (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. Pp. xiv+170. Fore-
word, prologue, illustrations, maps, black-and-white photographs, epilogue,
appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $19.95.)
This well-researched and ably written book tells the story of the first major
U.S. Army expeditions against the Comanche Indians before the Civil War. It is
also the story of the elite Second U.S. Cavalry Regiment, a unique unit that pro-
duced a veritable constellation of Civil War luminaries in the armies of both
North and South, including some sixteen general officers.
The Comanche Indians, with their less numerous allies the Kiowas, were the
most predatory and intractable of all the Plains Indians. They delayed white set-
tlement of the Southwest for a full forty years. With the annexation of Texas in
1845, the Comanches became the problem of the U.S. Army.
It was hardly in a position to intervene. The Army lacked a true cavalry arm
and the line of forts built to protect the Texas frontier were garrisoned mostly by
infantry. The Comanches, no fools, simply rode around them.
It took Jefferson Davis, secretary of war from 1853 to 1857, to realize that a
new military policy was needed for the Great Plains, and his solution was to add
two new regiments of cavalry, structured to pursue and punish mounted red
raiders. One of these, the Second U.S. Cavalry, was formed for service on the
Texas frontier. It would fight some forty actions in the Southwest, and two of its
major expeditions are the study of this book.
The first occurred in 1858, when Capt. Earl Van Dorn led an expedition into
Indian Territory in search of hostile Comanches. The Indians were aware of the
approach of Van Dorn's command, and were initially alarmed. Faced with the
options of giving battle to Van Dorn's troops or abandoning their camp and
fleeing the soldiers, the Comanches, obeying their cultural dictates, resorted to


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. ( accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.