The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 127
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kangaroo court executions and vigilante lynching, is treated in a balanced and
articulate fashion. The Native American activity in the outlying communities,
however, is characterized as "marauding Indians" with "reprisals," without a con-
text regarding white farmers' incursions on the lands occupied by the Plains
tribes. The text does include the Dove Creek Massacre in which nonhostile Kick-
apoo were attacked by white Texans.
In the most effective part of the narrative, the documentary details the roles of
Tejanos, women, African Texans, and the Alabama-Coushatta people in con-
tributing to the Confederate war effort. Women on the home front found them-
selves with extra burdens with which they "responded with a spirit of enterprise."
African American slaves performed much of the work done even though the
slaves knew what was happening in the nation and desired the Union to prevail.
The societal slave controls prevented any other action on their parts. The reen-
actments of some of the labor and duties performed by women and slaves help
viewers to visualize the setting.
The narrative continues with segments on the home-front economy, Sibley's
disastrous New Mexico campaign, Union attempts at invasion, prisoner-of-war
camps, the Palmito Ranch skirmish, and the Juneteenth announcement. A final
topic concerns the nature of the legacy of the Civil War to Texas. A reading list
of histories written primarily by the on-camera experts follows.
Taking a cue from its experts, The Home Front presents a fairly sophisticated
treatment of Texas during this period of U.S. history. Given considerable screen
time, the experts-most notably, Mike Campbell, Jerry Don Thompson, and
Ralph Wooster-keep the narrative moving with keen insight and witty anec-
dotes. Although the video is replete with historic individual males, not one spe-
cific female or her experience is cited. All subjects military receive too much
attention, particularly the inclusion of Sibley's campaign which had little to do
with the home front. The quotations highlighted on the screen do not clearly
separate contemporary quotations from the narration. While the reenactments
of the home life of Texans at war are worthwhile and effective, the acting
involved in the military reenactment vignettes is destined to provoke snickering
among seventh-grade students. Nonetheless, this virtual one-man project by
Glen Sample Ely makes compelling and informative viewing.
Lemont, Pennsylvania JoDee Dyreson
Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott. By John S. D.
Eisenhower. (New York: Free Press, 1997. Pp. xiv+464. Prologue, appen-
dices, notes, bibliography. ISBN 0-684-84451-6. $27.00, cloth.)
Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory. By Timothy D. Johnson. (Lawrence:
University Press of Kansas, 1998. Pp. xi+315. Acknowledgments, maps, illus-
trations, prologue, epilogue, appendix, endnotes, bibliography, index.
ISBN 0-7006-0914-8. $35.00, cloth.)
Although Winfield Scott is known today primarily for his role as the comman-
der of U.S. forces in the war with Mexico, few public figures in the first half of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/155/?rotate=270: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.