The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 490

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Reconstruction with the business advantage of having been a Union loyalist. He
became postmaster of Indianola on Matagorda Bay, an inauspicious place after
the Civil War, being the site of a major outbreak of yellow fever and then wiped
out by one of the worst hurricanes to hit the Texas coast on September 15,
1875. Miraculously no one in the family died, but their fortunes and the town
were destroyed. His daughter Sophie wrote a description of that horrible night
of 150-miles-per-hour winds in which at any moment each person huddled in
their house expected to die. The sight of the devastation after the storm is mov-
ingly described as well as the generosity of people from Galveston, Victoria, and
Cuero, who sent supplies immediately to the survivors who were without water or
food. Reichstein's use of such letters adds poignancy and emotionality to the dri-
er facts of immigrant life.
The descendants of the Texas Wagner, having experienced the shame of their
father's loyalty to the Union, set about to raise their children as Americans
rather than German Americans, even though they were always part of a German
American community in Texas. Their assimilation into American society preced-
ed the Wagners of Illinois, who only were pushed into assimilation after World
War I and World War II, when the stigma of being German reached its height.
In his conclusions Reichstein quotes the newspaperman in John Ford's fa-
mous movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" (1961), "This is the West,
Sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend" (p. 218). Reichstein has
organized the book with an eye to the facts and presented the material in a read-
able manner, but from my point of view as an anthropologist, the book would
have been richer if he had given us more of the legend. Legends create identity
and it would have been interesting to see how legend, in addition to war, affect-
ed the identity construction of German Americans.
Georgia State Unzversity, Atlanta ANNE SUTHERLAND
The Kiowas and the Legend of Kickzng Bird. By Stan Hoig. (Norman: University of Ok-
lahoma Press, 2000. Pp. xxv+341. Illustrations, preface, prologue, epilogue,
appendix, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-87081-564-4. $29.95, cloth.)
The United States' westward expansion caused epic disruptions in the lives of
Plains Indians during the second half of the nineteenth century. Political crises
developed as established leaders died and new generations stepped forward to
replace them. Among the most difficult and divisive issues facing those vying for
leadership roles was adopting a policy for dealing with the United States. The
Kiowas, like many other Plains tribes, faced the question of whether to pursue
peaceful relations with the United States, or to fight to preserve a cherished way
of life. Kicking Bird (T'end-ang6pte in Kiowa, or Eagle Who Strikes With His
Talons), who emerged as a Kiowa peace leader during the 1870s, created such
bitter controversy among Kiowas that circumstances of his 1875 death have fu-
eled legends.
Stan Hoig, professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Central Okla-
homa, brings to this effort considerable experience from writing books such as



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