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92Southwestern Hutorical QuarterlyJuly 1818 establishment of the Topographical Bureau and Map Depot as a part of Secretary ofWarJohn C. Calhoun's major reorganization of the army. Whereas the first four chapters mainly employ secondary sources to provide a chronological overview of official Spanish and American expeditions into the Southwest, Gerald D. Saxon conducted original research in materials held in UTA's Special Collections to write an essay that demonstrates how Henry Washington Benham, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps ofEngineers, used his skills to help the outnumbered American troops defeat Santa Anna's army at Buena Vista in February 1 847. Along with other engineers, Benham pointed out to commanding generals Zachary Taylor and John E. Wool that the initial American position at Agua Verde was exposed and vulnerable. Therefore, Taylor followed the advice of his engineers and took up a more defensible position, in front of die Hacienda de Buena Vista, just before the arrival of the Mexican troops. Saxon concludes that because of engineers like Benham, the "United States was able to defeat a numerically superior enemy fighting on its own soil" (p. 15 1 ) . Paula Rebert concludes the collection with an excellent essay on the forgotten Mexican Boundary Commission's efforts in surveying and mapping the border between Mexico and the United States, established by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February 1848. Rebert states that most historians have mistakenly accepted U.S. Boundary Commissioner William H. Emory's low opinion of the Mexican engineers and goes on to point out the especially valuable contribution made by Manuel Orozco y Berra, principal leader ofthe Mexican Commission. In conclusion, this collection ofessays skillfully demonstrates the important role played by soldiers and engineers from both sides of the border in the early mapping of the southwest frontier. University ofNorth TexasF. Todd Smith Indian Wars ofMexico, Canada, and the UnitedStates, 1812-1900. By Bruce Vandervort. (NewYork: Roudedge, 2006. Pp. 356. Maps, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0415224713. $105.00, cloth. ISBN 0415224721. $33.95, paper.) This plainly tided addition to Roudedge's Warfare and History series surveys and analyzes in a comparative perspective the ways in which native peoples and Euro-Americans waged war during the nineteenth century. At the outset, it should be observed that this is the first book-length foray into the field ofNorth American history for Prof. Bruce Vandervort, a specialist ofmodern France and ofEuropean imperialism, especially in Africa. Hence this original and insightful effort to show how the Indian wars of the United States, Mexico, and Canada were related in important ways not only to each other but also to Europe's imperial wars overseas. Indian Wars ofMexico, Canada, and the United States is made up of two parts. The first of these situates nineteenth-century European-American expansion squarely within the framework ofEuropean imperialism and defines the dominant dynamics of conflict. Taking a cue from Africanists, the author in fact interprets the Comanches, Sioux, Plains Cree, Apaches, Yaquis, and Mayas, as secondary or sufrempires—New World equivalents of the Zulus. He goes on to analyze colonial 2oo7 Book Reviews93 ways ofwar, providing a stimulating demonstration ofhow French and British ideas relating to irregular warfare ("small wars," in the parlance of the day), military organization , training, and professionalization were embraced by nineteenth-century North American armies. Unfortunately, the attempt to come to grips with Indian motives and meanings ofwar comes across as superficial in comparison. The second part of the book follows chronological and geographical lines, describing in six chapters the Indian wars fought east of the Mississippi River during the first half of the century; the Yaqui revolt against the Mexican government; the Caste War that pitted Mayan Indians against the governments ofYucatán and later Mexico; the conflicts between the United States and the peoples of the Great Plains, including the (very briefly examined) frontier wars ofTexas; the American and Mexican defeat of the Apaches; and finally the two rebellions of the Métis (an ethnic group descended primarily from the union of French men and Cree and Ojibway women) in western Canada. Sixteen maps that situate the groups discussed and illustrate the important campaigns are scattered throughout this half of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 92-93
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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