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ute to these two men—because they evolved new concepts "that have altered our understanding of the American past" (p. 89). Billington searches for the genesis of those concepts to ask questions about how original thoughts are germinated. He finds certain similarities in the backgrounds of the two men, but concludes that both believed in a multidisciplinary approach to history and both were capable of creative responses to external stimuli. Billington's essay should be required reading —not by students, but by the professors—in graduate colleges. If Essays on the American West represents the current condition of the historiography of the American West, then the reader can only conclude that it is well and flourishing, providing provocative new insights, suggesting new avenues of research, and producing handsome dividends. The essayists, the editors, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas Press are all to be complimented on the publication of this volume. Oklahoma State University Odie B. Faulk New Mexico in 1850: A Military View. By Colonel George A. McCaIl. Edited by Robert W. Frazer (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968. Pp. xi, 222. $5.95.) Major George Archibald McCaIl, Third United States Infantry, arrived in Santa Fe in March, 1850, carrying instructions from the Secretary of War to urge the people of New Mexico to seek statehood and to provide the War Department with information about that little known territory . Six months later he completed his inspection and submitted a series of reports regarding the population, economic life, military situation , and Indian dangers relating to New Mexico. Although highly biased against the region, his observations represented the most comprehensive information about New Mexico then available to the War Department. Editor Robert Frazer, professor of history at California State College in Long Beach, has added greatly to the value of the basic reports with his own extensive research. He provides three chapters of background material, setting the scene for McCaITs reports and basing his material upon a wide use of the National Archives, the New Mexico Records Center and Archives, and extensive printed sources. This first half of the book discusses officiai knowledge of New Mexico in 1850, Indian problems, the economic and military situations of the territory, McCaITs background, and his instructions before proceeding to Santa Fe. The nucleus of the work consists of Chapters IV (McCaITs report to the Secretary of War), V (individual inspection reports), and VI (his report on the defensive needs of New Mexico). Footnotes throughout are informative and fortunately the publisher wisely places them with 345 346civil war history the text. Of the three parts prepared by McCaIl, the series of individual reports provides the least information and is often tedious reading with repetition of relatively unimportant facts. Since McCaIl followed the format of the "56th Article of the Regulations of the Army," the product of these reports is about as interesting to read as those of unit military histories in today's services. Yet, there is much of interest elsewhere, especially in Frazer's thorough additions. The War Department knew "remarkably little" about New Mexico by 1850, but McCaIl helped to fill this void. He was skeptical about the assistance the "Mexican" citizenry could provide in defending the territory but was full of optimism concerning the possibility of employing Pueblo Indian auxiliaries against marauding Apaches and Navajos. Although he committed factual errors, especially about the Spanish period where, for example, he stressed the importance on mines as "the most productive of wealth," his military observations and recommendations for his own period were generally sound. These included the need for more soldiers, posts in the heart of Indian country, and mounted regular units. Finally, it should be added that New Mexico's problems in 1850, as noted by McCaIl, show an amazing similarity to those of the late Spanish period—inadequate numbers of troops, wide dispersion of forces, lack of good horses, inadequate supplies, medical problems, high transportation costs, and relative isolation of the territory. In reality, McCaIl provided U.S. authorities with the same information Spanish governors and military officers had supplied a century earlier. Oakah L. Jones, Jr. U. S. Air Force Academy New Mexico's Quest for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 345-346
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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