The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 436
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
series as a touchstone which researchers in this part of the field must
conjure with before proceeding further. That is justification enough
for any volume.
University of Wisconsin, Madison MORTON ROTHSTEIN
The California Column in New Mexico. By Darlis Miller. (Albuquer-
que: University of New Mexico Press, 1982. Pp. xviii+318. Fore-
word, preface, acknowledgments, illustrations, maps, notes, bib-
liography, index. $19.95, cloth; $9.95, paper.)
The California Column in New Mexico concentrates on the post-
Civil War contributions of some 345 veterans who stayed on in the
territory after the war. The "Column Men" or "California Boys," as
they were known, represent the first large-scale influx of Anglo-
Americans into the area after the Mexican War. Their descendants'
names sprinkle the pages of the state's telephone directories to this
The contributions of the California veterans to the academic, social,
and political development of the territory were indeed profound, as the
author ably illustrates. Perhaps the biggest contribution of the men
was the opening of five major mining districts, namely Elizabethtown,
Silver City, Hillsboro, Magdalena or Kelly, and White Oaks. In fact,
the ex-volunteers staked claims in practically all areas where mining
was undertaken in the thirty years following their discharge and set
the stage for the continued development of the mining industry in
A handful of veterans became prominent cattlemen in the territory.
Others stayed on to farm. In 1870 farmers made up the largest single
category of California veterans who remained in the territory. A
growing Anglo population in a predominately Hispanic society also
produced violence, and a number of veterans found themselves on the
wrong side of the law. The Californians were involved, directly or in-
directly, in such epic New Mexico struggles as the Lincoln County
War, the Tularosa Ditch War, and disputes over the Maxwell and
Brazito land grants.
Through the extensive use of primary source materials, including
military service records, census records, pension and marriage records,
civil and criminal records, tax returns, Indian Bureau Records, and,
more impressively, an array of territorial newspapers, the author has
presented an interesting account of the decisive impact of the "Cali-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/m1/504/?rotate=90: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.