The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 531
is to see that "the lack of adequate funding is a central issue in understanding
the history of the state soldiery" (p. xv). Cooper also relates the Guardsmen's
desires for local control while continually asking for national finanacial aid, a
clear conflict that the book restates all too well.
The book begins by detailing the history of the militia from 1607-1865. The
author reiterates what others have long told us concerning local militias. They
were effective only when threats were close to them. He also reveals attempts at
militia reform that began with the Militia Act of 1792. For the years 1866-1898
there were many changes. For example, Texas, although it claimed a high num-
ber of men, did not arm or help equip its force during Reconstruction. The
force was disbanded in 1873 and not until 1890 was the Texas Legislature able
to maintain a force of three thousand.
In the time period of 1866-1899, the guard was used mostly for quelling civil
disorders. Cooper concentrates on the guard's role in labor strikes, almost
always favoring management. Another use dealt with the stopping of lynchings.
Cooper shows that the guard successfully prevented many lynchings and showed
great courage in many cases.
People volunteering for the guard found themselves under increasing state
control. The author believes we need to reevaluate historians' views that the
National Guard Association was a powerful lobby defending states' rights. Then
the author shows that the Spanish-American war revealed a very disorganized
National Guard trying to prepare for that war.
Attempts to reform the National Guard were made by such as Secretary of War
Elihu Root and Gen. Leonard Wood, Army Chief of Staff. These reform
attempts culminated in the replacement of the Militia Act of 1792 with the
Militia Act of 1903. Cooper states that, "In prescribing a legal relationship
between state and federal forces, the law gave the state soldiery a statutory place
in public policy" (p. i11). Cooper nicely chronicles the swing from a state guard
under local control to a guard completely under federal control.
The book is a very good account of the subject matter. While the Texas story is
not extensively told, one can gain enough understanding of its history. The
author is clearly writing for the specialist in this field. The tables, appendices,
endnotes, and bibliography were very helpful in fully comprehending this sub-
ject. Cooper has solidified his standing as an expert in this field.
Southwest Texas Junior College STEPHEN M. KERBOW
Homicide, Race, and Justice zn the American West, 188o-z92o. By Clare V. McKanna
Jr. (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1997. Pp. xiv + 206. Tables,
illustrations, acknowledgments, notes, index. ISBN 0-8165-1708-8.
Clare McKanna's important research reminds us that while the study of con-
flict has been of primary interest to Western historians, it continues to be a vex-
ing subject and category of analysis. McKanna's contribution to the debate focus-
es on 977 homicide cases between 188o to 1920 in three counties: Douglas
County, Nebraska; Las Animas County, Colorado; and Gila County, Arizona.
Developing comparative homicide data through an examination of coroner's
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/602/ocr/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.