The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 310
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Shooting the Sun is a stunningly beautiful book. It was designed and printed by
David Holman at Wind River Press in Austin and represents a significant contri-
bution to the book arts of Texas. With only 325 copies produced, the book will
soon be a collector's item if it is not already by the time this review reaches print.
The book is oversized, the design is tasteful, and the map illustrations are clear,
legible, and well executed. There are 110 map plates in the two-volume work.
The book includes extensive endnotes, an annotated bibliography, and an
index. In March 2000, the TSHA awarded the Kate Broocks Bates Award for
Historical Research in Texas prior to 1900 to Jackson for the book. Jackson and
the Book Club of Texas are to be congratulated for producing a work of aesthet-
ic beauty and groundbreaking scholarship. If you are interested in the history of
Texas prior to the revolution, or maps, or exploration of the Texas interior,
then you will want this book on your shelves. While it may be expensive, it is
worth every penny.
University of Texas at Arlington Gerald D. Saxon
Historical Memozr of the War in West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15, with an Atlas.
By Arsane LaCarriere Latour. (Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida,
1999. Pp ix+358. Editor's acknowledgments, editor's introduction, preface,
introduction, conclusion, notes, appendix, index. ISBN o-8130-1675-4.
This book is an invaluable firsthand account of the military campaign that cul-
minated in the Battle of New Orleans. The author, Arsane LaCarriere Latour,
knew his subject intimately, having served as a military engineer with Andrew
Jackson's forces during the climactic stages of the campaign. Originally pub-
lished in 1816, Latour's narrative is now made available once again to the public
through this handsome and definitive edition.
Gene A. Smith, who has previously written on U.S. expansionism along the
Gulf Coast, provides a stimulating editor's introduction to the Historical Memozr.
He traces Latour's path as a French immigrant to Saint Domingue, and his sub-
sequent flight to Louisiana in 1802 following the famous slave revolt in that
Caribbean colony. Most important, Smith explains Latour's place within the
emigr6 community of New Orleans. While thoroughly French in loyalty, Latour
adapted readily to the new American regime following the Louisiana Purchase.
His knowledge of mapmaking and surveying, and his fluency in English, made
him a valuable staff officer to Jackson, and a liaison between French and Anglo-
American residents of Louisiana during a time of crisis.
Latour's narrative, written in spare and precise prose, is an important guide to
the military campaign along the Gulf Coast in 1814-1815. Often viewing mat-
ters from an engineer's perspective, Latour recounted in meticulous detail the
challenges that ships and troops encountered in mounting operations within a
low-lying country of tortuous river passages, and interconnected lakes, bayous,
and swamps. An outstanding feature of the Hstoncal Memoir is a series of eight
maps, drafted by Latour himself, which portray various stages of the campaign-
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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/m1/362/?rotate=90: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.