The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 548

Southwestern Historzcal Quarterly

strengths during the postwar era. A useful chronology, which includes signifi-
cant administrative and professional developments along with major battles
against the Indians, adds to the work's value, as does a well-reasoned preface
describing the author's compilation of the fifty best secondary accounts on the
subject. Comprehensive author and subject indexes make the volume easily
Although no particular emphasis is given to the Lone Star State, Texas histo-
rians will find this guide to be of great value. Dawson gives extensive attention
to the literature on Texas federal forts, along with the major Indian campaigns
conducted in the Southwest. A specialist in the army's role in Reconstruction,
the author provides particularly valuable insights into the literature of this con-
troversial topic. This volume's annotations will also serve as an excellent intro-
ductory guide to the printed materials, archival sources, and manuscript collec-
tions that address more general trends and issues influencing the military.
No bibliography is ever exhaustive, particularly when the subject is as popu-
lar as the postbellum army. Quibblers will note the failure to include the
Charles Gatewood Collection (Arizona Historical Society Collections), the Com-
mission and Personal Branch Records (National Archives), or a chart outlining
the army's myriad geographical divisions, departments, and districts. But this
reviewer can foresee no serious challenges to the overall excellence of the
present volume, which, through its diversity of sources and themes, illustrates
that the old army was much more than simply a frontier constabulary.
Corpus Christ State University ROBERT WOOSTER
The Road to Dzsunzon: Secessionzsts at Bay, 1776-1854. By William W. Freehling.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Pp. x+640o. Preface, prologue,
maps, illustrations, notes, index. $30.)
Robert Barnwell Rhett, South Carolina's most celebrated disunionist, watched
sourly as president-elect Jefferson Davis placed his hand on a bible and took the
oath of office. For Rhett, the moment was both a victory and a defeat. Davis,
who had displayed alarmingly nationalist tendencies for most of the previous
decade, well understood that his diverse country could only prevail by pulling
together, by becoming a South. But could it?
Explaining the circuitous route by which Rhett and the rest of his region ar-
rived at the Montgomery inaugural is the monumental task William Freehling
has chosen for himself. The present volume of some three hundred thousand
words carries the story through the Kansas-Nebraska Act. A second volume,
Secessionists Triumphant, will bring the narrative to the author's 1861 prologue.
Put simply, Freehling here argues that prior to 1854 the Rhetts were held in
check not by the might of the industrial north but by the South's own crippling
internal divisions. Even among the master class, there was no unity of vision.
South Carolina rice aristocrats clashed with coarse frontier planters who spoke
the language of herrenvolk democracy. New Orleans expansionists who gazed
fondly on Nicaragua gazed askance at border state heretics who wrung their
hands and insisted that the Jeffersonian dream of emancipation and coloniza-
tion might still be achieved provided the conditions were right.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.