The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 334
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
have recognized these facts and rejected Bolton's relatively benevolent charac-
terization of the Coronado expedition, Flint combines his mastery of the docu-
ments with insights from ethnohistorical and archaeological literature to more
precisely delineate the expedition's consequences. Most notably, he argues that
the considerable destruction and violence that the expedition committed in the
middle Rio Grande Valley resulted in profound disruption to the Tiwa Pueblos
and the eventual encroachment upon the northern fringe of Tiwa territory by
Historians of the Spanish borderlands have long benefited from the efforts of
an earlier generation that scoured archives in Mexico and Spain for documents
relevant to the history of the Southwest that they then translated and published.
Richard Flint's thorough, careful, and deeply contextualized book is a model of
what a new generation of documentary collections should look like.
Harvard University Brian DeLay
A Fighter from Way Back: The Mexican War Diary of Lt. Danzel Harvey Hill, 4th Ar-
tillery, USA. Edited by Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. and Timothy D. John-
son. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2oo2. Pp. xvi+231. Maps and
Illustrations, preface, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-87338-736-2.
Like many veterans of the Mexican War, West Point graduate Daniel Harvey
Hill is better known for his service in the Civil War. Yet as an officer in the 4th
Artillery, Hill entered Mexico in June 1846 and left in 1848 only after hostilities
ended. He fought in his first battle at Monterrey, after which he joined the
American landing at Veracruz. As the U.S. invasion force marched toward Mexi-
co City, Hill found himself involved in every major battle of the campaign.
This diary is that of a young man who was Anglo-Saxonist, anti-Catholic, and
intensely distrustful of those in authority. Hill's prejudices led him to label Mexi-
cans as superstitious, depraved, and inferior. However, he also criticized his own
countrymen, especially the volunteers. He derided them for their drunken an-
tics, poor discipline, and the atrocities they committed against Mexican citizens.
His pen also spared few regular officers, including his own commanding gener-
als. Hill was an adamant Whig, and he condemned Democratic president James
K. Polk and the officers who were among "Mr. Polk's precious appointments" (p.
Hill's lack of objectivity actually makes his diary all the more valuable, because
so many published Mexican War diaries and letters are crowded with hyperbolic
praises of fellow soldiers or caricatures of swooning Mexican women. Despite his
acerbity and predilections, Hill's descriptions of battles, camp life, the Mexican
landscape, and the variety of problems encountered by Americans in Mexico are
meticulous and informative. Hill possessed a remarkable knowledge of the dif-
ferent companies and their commanders. While he praised John Coffee Hays's
Texas Rangers for their guerilla-hunting (and killing) skills and acknowledged
their role in the war effort, he also called them the "villains" and "cut-throats
from Texas" (p. 146).
Hughes and Johnson have succeeded in balancing the need to preserve Hill's
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/378/?rotate=270: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.