Friday, March 4, 2016

Booknotes: Riding for the Lone Star

New Arrival:
Riding for the Lone Star: Frontier Cavalry and the Texas Way of War, 1822-1865 by Nathan A. Jennings (Univ of N Texas Pr, 2016).

Why walk when you can ride. Jennings suggests that nineteenth century Texans developed a distinctive mode of fighting, one "defined by armed horsemanship, volunteer militancy, and short-term mobilization as it grappled with both tribal and international opponents."
"Drawing upon military reports, participants’ memoirs, and government documents, cavalry officer Nathan A. Jennings analyzes the evolution of Texan militarism from tribal clashes of colonial Tejas, territorial wars of the Texas Republic, the Mexican-American War, border conflicts of antebellum Texas, and the cataclysmic Civil War. In each conflict Texan volunteers answered the call to arms with marked enthusiasm for mounted combat. Riding for the Lone Star explores this societal passion—with emphasis on the historic rise of the Texas Rangers—through unflinching examination of territorial competition with Comanches, Mexicans, and Unionists. Even as statesmen Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston emerged as influential strategic leaders, captains like Edward Burleson, John Coffee Hays, and John Salmon Ford attained fame for tactical success."
Only one chapter covers the Civil War but it will be interesting to see what arguments it contains.

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