Sul Ross: Soldier, Statesman, Educator, and: Texas' Last Frontier: Fort Stockton and the Trans-Pecos, 1861-1895, and: Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes (review)
- Civil War History
- The Kent State University Press
- Volume 32, Number 3, September 1986
- pp. 284-287
- View Citation
- Additional Information
284CIVIL WAR HISTORY reprinted until the appearance recently. Editor John M. Carroll and the University ofTexas Press have performed an important service for military historians by once again making its valuable data convenient to students of this discipline. The book is especially useful when used with R. B. Heitman 's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, another indispensable reference book for military historians. Thian was born in France sometime in 1829 or 1830. This son ofa soldier of Napoleon was destined for a military career, but instead of serving his native country he sailed for America in 1850, going first to Canada. He dien enlisted in the United States Army in 1851 and served for sixty-one years, fifty of them in the Adjutant General's Office. Thian's military geography includes facts about military divisions, districts , departments, and Reconstruction districts. It includes the dates of their creation, their commanders, and their geographical boundaries. It associates states and territories of the United States with the military departments or districts appropriate to them. It includes a list ofexecutive officers, secretaries of war, generals-in-chief, and adjutant generals, and has an index of commands and an index of their commanders. It also contains four fold-out charts. Three are devoted to a chronological scale of all military divisions, districts, and departments from 1813 to 1880 that show the month and year of the creation of all military divisions, their commanders, and other data. The fourth chart shows states and territories of the United States with the date each ratified the Constitution or attempted to secede from the Union. The bulk ofthe work is a chronological exhibit of military commands and a brief sketch of each. This is a highly specialized reference work but most military historians will find it a useful addition to their arsenal as they campaign to unlock the secrets ofour military history. Archie P McDonald Stephen F. Austin State University Sul Ross: Soldier, Statesman, Educator. By Judith Ann Benner. (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1983. Pp. xix, 259. $19.50.) Texas' Last Frontier: Fort Stockton and the Trans-Pecos, 1861-1895. By Clayton W Williams. Edited by Ernest Wallace. (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1981. Pp. xiii, 457. $19.50.) Kit Carson: A Patternfor Heroes. By Thelma S. Guild and Harvey L. Carter . (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. Pp. ix, 367. $18.95.) In the 1890s the masthead ofthe Texas A & M University Batallion carried the words "Lawrence Sullivan Ross—Soldier, Statesman, Knightly." As president ofA & M, Ross had initiated a building program, improved the physical plant, reorganized and updated the school's curriculum, stressed military training, prohibited hazing, and in 1894, allowed students to ini- BOOK REVIEWS285 tiate a rough and tumble game called football. After his death, a ten-foot bronze statue was unveiled in front of the Academic Building, and in 1920 Sul Ross Normal University opened its doors at Alpine. Sul Ross had begun his career as a Texas Ranger battling Comanches in northern Texas and in the Indian Territory, and became well-known throughout the Lone Star State as aveteran ofthe Battle ofPeace River and the rescue ofCynthia Ann Parker. With the outbreak ofthe Civil War, Ross joined the sixth Texas Cavalry, fought at Pea Ridge, and rode east in time to join Beauregard at Corinth. Ross was promoted to brigadier in time to play an active role in the Atlanta Campaign. Later with Hood, he saw limited service during the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. Although die author admits that Ross "lacked both the formal military training and the natural brilliance necessary for a successful corps commander," it is evident that she, like many other biographers, has come to love her subject. During Reconstruction, Ross became sheriff of McClellan County where, according to die author, he arrested some seven hundred outlaws, a questionable accomplishment for an army of lawmen. In Texas politics during Reconstruction, Ross was up against E. J. Davis's state police which the audior stereotypes as a "haven ofdesperados," thus repeating many of the myths ofTexas Reconstruction. Although Ross was not a strong leader and certainly not a reformer, he worked hard for the Texas Constitution of...