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45<5Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril to organize the work in a manner that would afford the reader maximum return. Still, Moore has performed yeoman work in this area of research. While Moore cannot be responsible for the actions and accounts of men who lived more Üian 1 50 years ago, his chronicles, nevertheless, present an attitude diat was not only biased but also was cavalier. Contemporary recorders and Moore dutifully report the name ofevery white setder killed, but Indians, Mexicans, and blacks usually remained unnamed. Moore reports that Indians "killed a setder named Varían Richeson and two black men, and they captured a blackgirr (p. 86, emphasis added). A few sentences later, he reports "Pinckney Coatsworth Caldwell, longtime quartermaster for the Texas Army, and a Mexican man -were killed" (p. 86). Even die owners ofslain slaves merited mention but not the slaves. In the next page, Moore writes, "The Indians killed a citizen named Joseph O'Neill and two black servants of Major Oran Watts" (p. 87). This practice is repeated diroughout die book; die value ofIndians, Mexicans, and blacks as human beings was clearly held in low esteem by white Texans. Clearly, Moore loves his subject and has great admiration for the players in diis historic play. It is not surprising diat some of the chauvinistic language used by his subjects often creeps into Moore's writing. Indians raided, plundered, and committed depraved acts. The Texans led expeditions, conducted campaigns and enjoyed die spoils ofwar. When the Comanche attacked Victoria and other coastal towns, they killed several men and stole horses. This is lamented, butwhen the white Texans drove into Indian villages and killed and captured women and children, burned every home to the ground, and "moved out for home widi all they could haul" (p. 226), it was considered justified retribution. The immoral equivalency seems to be lost on everyone. One odier account helps illustrate the callousness of the times and the prejudiced reporting of events by die victors. After George Heard was shot and killed in a batde widi Indians, "Gilbert Love stood by the body of Heard to prevent the Indians from scalping and otherwise mutilating his fellow ranger" (p. 316, emphasis added). The mutilation of an Indian hardly raised an eyebrow. After an Indian's body was found the day after another clash, "Cadiarine Dugan took an axe and severed the head from the Indian's body . . . Catherine's mother used die skull as a quill gourd for her sewing supplies" (p. 332). Perhaps it is not Moore's intent, but SavageFrontierprovides a stunning view of die bestiality ofboth the Indian and the white man in their struggle for supremacy over a land called friends. Pflugerville, TexasAlfredo E. Cardenas John B. Armstrong: Texas Ranger and PioneerRanchman. By Chuck Parsons, afterword by Elmer Kelton. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007. Pp. 168. Illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-58544-5533 . $20.00, clodi.) Chuck Parsons has struck literary gold with his latest offering./oAn B. Armstrong: TexasRangerandPioneerRanchman. The book at once delivers, citing diatArmstrong 2??8Book Reviews451 was likely a descendant ofan eleventh-century armor bearer to a Scottish king. That ancestor's bravery and quick thinking on the batdefield garnered him die nickname of "Strong Arm" or "Armstrong," a family trait not lost onJohn B. Armstrong. As Siward the Armstrong, who rescued his temporarily felled king in Scotland in those ancient times, rose in prominence to become Earl of Northumberland, so tooJohn B. Armstrong rose among die highest echelon ofTexas society. He did so with humility diat is rarely characteristic of such men. Parsons's study of Armstrong's relatively short career as a Texas Ranger, 1875-1878, is filled with exploits of hair-raising adventure, each one centered on his impending demise at the hands ofscheming catde rusders, vengeful Indians, and otherviolent characters. One occasion forwhich Armstrong is most remembered is his capture of one ofTexas's leading men oudaws,John Wesley Hardin, in 1877. For fans of tales of cowboys, Indians, oudaws, and lawmen of the Old West, JohnB. Armstrong: Texas RangerandPioneerRanchman does not disappoint. Chapters with tides such as "Genesis of a Fighting Man," "Blood on the Palo Alto Prairie," and "Facing the Man Killer," promise and deliver action, trickery, and hot lead with the turn ofeach page. Where the book goes beyond expectations, in tiiis reviewer's opinion, is its treatment ofArmstrong the former Ranger as he transitions to become a successful family man, rancher, businessman, and civic leader. In later chapters of John B. ArmstrongParsons dutifully, yet with a sense of the familial, shows the Texas scion to be a man not satisfied with having his career in law enforcement as his only legacy, impressive as it was. Parsons writes that Armstrong was entrenched in the fabric that was the new Texas. He realized its potential as his own. This is where Parsons has gone beyond the biographical norm. All too many accounts ofhistorical figures whose reputations rest on tiieir services as lawmen, honorable as those were, provide the reader character analyses diat leave the subject handcuffed to a rather one-dimensional representation. Parsons gives the readerJohn B. Armstrong, the Texas Ranger. But it is in the remaining chapters diat the reader is introduced to the multi-faceted man many of his descendants undoubtedly knew. In die chapters "Pioneer Ranchman," and "Rancher Among the Rails," is found die John B. Armstrong that Parsons wishes the reader to know and understand. For fans of the traditional Old West shoot-'em-up, and those interested in knowing what became of the men who oudived their violent pasts, Parsons brings the two together widi this book.John B. Armstrong: Texas Ranger and Pioneer Ranchman belongs not only in die Texas history section oflibraries, but it probably could hold its place in the Humanities section as well. Katy, TexasDan Anderson CaptainJ. A. Brooks, Texas Ranger. By Paul N. Spellman. (Denton: University ofNordi Texas Press, 2007. Pp. 288. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 157441 -227-2. $24.g5, cloth.) In the first book-lengdi treatment ofthis notable figure in Ranger history, Paul Spellman (professor ofTexas and American History atWhartonJunior College, Old Three Hundred descendant, and biographer of Capt.John H. Rogers) produces a ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 450-451
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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