Thursday, October 6, 2016

Booknotes: Kearny's Dragoons Out West

New Arrival:
Kearny's Dragoons Out West: The Birth of the U.S. Cavalry by Will Gorenfeld and John Gorenfeld (Univ of Okla Pr, 2016).

This study is a history of the 1st Dragoons from the unit's 1833 inception through the end of the U.S.-Mexican War. Along the way, it contrasts the leadership of Henry Dodge, the unit's first colonel, with that of Stephen Watts Kearny and charts the dragoons's tripartite mission of "exploration, conquest, and diplomacy" in the vast West. "Drawing on soldiers’ journals and other never-before-used sources, Kearny’s Dragoons Out West reconstructs this forgotten, often surprising moment in U.S. history. Under Kearny, the 1st Dragoons performed its mission through diplomacy and intimidation rather than violence, even protecting Indians from white settlers." Roughly half the book covers the U.S. dragoon experience of the war with Mexico, so readers seeking a new history of mounted operations during that conflict will find a substantial amount of information in this volume.

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