The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 406
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Laurence expressed no compassion. Rather, she coldly complained, "Our rests
would also be broken at times by wailing chants over the body of some dead
child" (p. 1 o8). Interestingly, she depicts the Mexicans she met, while at Texas's
Fort Ringgold, sympathetically, finding their music soulful and full of beauty.
This fine work, with Smith's careful annotations and helpful introduction, de-
serves wide readership. It adds depth and texture to our understanding of nine-
teenth-century military life, childhood and, alas, the powerful hold of racism
when imprinted on youthful hearts.
University of Texas, El Paso SHERRY L. SMITH
Five Years a Cavalryman: Or, Sketches of Regular Army Life on the Texas Frontier,
1866-1871. By H. H. McConnell. Foreword by William H. Leckie. (Nor-
man, University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. Pp. 311. Foreword, appendix. IS-
BN o-8o61-2817-8. $12.95, paper.)
No movie pursuit here of miscreant or foe aboard a GI mount with the U.S.
brand on its rump. H. H. McConnell, in this facsimile reprint of an 1899 classic,
recounts the tedium, deprivation, and isolation of soldiering in northwest Texas,
mostly at Forts Richardson and Belknap in the years immediately following the
Civil War, although he also gives us vignettes of Fort Sill and other military in-
stallations of the time. There also are pen portraits of Randal McKenzie and oth-
ers he admired as commanders. With it all, he admits that the fatigues taught
him that "the spade is mightier than the sword."
Yet this intelligent, obviously educated, and perceptive trooper delighted in
the vistas of Texas topography, the greensward of wild flowers in the spring and
the herds of stolid buffalo and other fauna unknown to him in his natal
precincts. Along the way, he recalls (twenty years later when he was a respected
citizen ofJacksboro) how it was when a string of tiny outposts guarded the fron-
tier against incursions by Comanches and Kiowas from across the Red River. Not
the least interesting recollections, based on a journal kept at the time, are his
pen pictures of the Irish and German soldiers with whom he served.
As Volume 62 of The Western Frontier Library published by the University of
Oklahoma Press, the book gives us also a foreword by William H. Leckie, author
of The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West, also published by
the University of Oklahoma Press. It follows a second edition published by the
Jack County Historical Society in 1963.
For a sane look at real soldiering in the West, you can't beat it.
Marshall and Fort Worth MAX S. LALE
One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928. By
Matthew J. Mancini. (Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
Pp. xii+283. List of illustrations, acknowledgments, introduction, notes, bib-
liography, index. ISBN 1-57003-083-9. $34-95, cloth.)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/472/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.