The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 270
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
can military historians, Theodore Ropp, and not find a single word on
Historians concerned primarily with American wars hardly do better.
By way of illustration, those two respected military historians Ernest
and Trevor Dupuy, in the authoritative 794-page work Military Heritage
of America, offer only four sentences on the war, one of which contains
the deprecation that "This is not the place to give the details of the brief
Texan war for independence...." In his two-volume examination of
American wars, Robert Leckie slides over the military aspects of the
revolution in less than one of his 1,062 pages. The comprehensive stra-
tegic analysis The American Way of War, written by the eminent Russell F.
Weigley, does not mention Texas at all, not even the battles of the
Alamo or San Jacinto; and in Leslie Decker and Robert Seager's peri-
patetic two-volume America's Major Wars, there is neither a statement on
nor an allusion to the war. In his posthumously published History of
American Wars, T. Harry Williams confines his remarks to one lone and
vague sentence; and finally, in the most recent effort, Allan Millett and
Peter Maslowski's For the Common Defense, there is only a casual refer-
ence in a minute portion of a single sentence to a "brief but bitter war"
in Texas. Regrettably, even regional history has passed over the subject.
The very able Texas historian Archie McDonald, who certainly has
written both extensively and well on the revolution, laments that "Texas
has no Hannibal, no Napoleon to formulate or demonstrate great tac-
tical or strategic truths. It contributes no infantry maneuvers or artil-
lery innovations of lasting significance. Its only real value is moral."2
In some respects, the oversight is understandable. After all, the
lessons to be learned from the Texas battles are often negative. Fur-
thermore, as Professor McDonald correctly observes, no participant
looms as a major military figure. The commanders, with the possible
exception of Jose de Urrea or, perhaps, Sam Houston, are unprepos-
sessing. James Bowie, William B. Travis, James W. Fannin, Vicente Fil-
isola, Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna-none of them was either a tacti-
'B. H. Liddell Hart, Strategy (New York, 1954); J. F. C. Fuller, A Military History of the Western
World (3 vols.; New York, 1967), III, 7; Lynn Montross, War through the Ages (3rd ed.; New York,
1967), 574; Theodore Ropp, War in the Modern World (Durham, N.C., 1959).
2R. Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy, Military Heritage of America (New York, 1956), 143
(1st quotation); Robert Leckie, The Wars of America (2 vols.; New York, 1968), I, 323; Russell F.
Weigley, The Amerncan Way of War (New York, 1973); Leslie E. Decker and Robert Seager, Amer-
ica's Major Wars (Reading, Mass., 1973); T. Harry Williams, The History of American Wars (New
York, 1981), 148; Allan R. Millett and Peter Maslowski, For The Common Defense (New York,
1984), 137 (2nd quotation); Archie P. McDonald, "A Lusty Breed: The Military in Early Texas,"
Military History of Texas and the Southwest, IX, No. 3 (1971), 228 (3rd quotation).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/326/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.