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250CIVIL WAR HISTORY primarily in what he calls the "fostering effect of military money on a local economy." He finds that the fort and the surrounding countryside enjoyed a highly ambivalent economic relationship. Kansans looked upon Fort Riley as an economic boon that providedjobs and other opportunities. But it could also be seen as a drag upon regional progress, devouring valuable local land and resources. For their part, the fort's personnel viewed their civilian neighbors as both sources of labor and nuisances who often stole timber and hay from the fort's sprawling twenty-thousand acres. Dobak does a careful, thorough job in describing these relationships. But at times Fort Riley andIts Neighbors lacks a consistent narrative focus. Part of this stems from a sparsity of primary sources, part from the author's laudable sensitivity to context, together making for a somewhat unfocused storyline. But these are relatively minor concerns. Fort Riley and Its Neighbors is a solid work of history. Dobak's research is thorough, and his conclusions are sound, filling gaps in our understanding of the economic consequences of military installations for the history of the American West. Brian Dirck Anderson University Aztec Club of 1847, Military Society of the Mexican War: A Sesquicentennial History, 1847-1997. By Richard Hoag Breithaupt Jr. (Los Angeles: Published under the Auspices of the Society, 1998. Pp. iv, 1494. $89.95.) Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee stood together as conqueror and conquered in the parlor of the McLean House in the small village of Appomattox Court House. Waiting for the terms of surrender to be written out, these Civil War icons turned their attention to a time nearly twenty years earlier when both were part of Winfield Scott's victorious army. Historians are well aware of this poignant episode where the two commanders discussed happier times as a way to break the tension surrounding the capitulation of Lee's army. What has remained in the shadows for many years is the organization that bound men like Grant and Lee and a host of other Civil War notables together even through the trauma of a national rebellion. This little known fraternal society is the topic of Richard H. Breithaupt Jr.'s sesquicentennial observance entitled Aztec Club of 1847. The Aztec Club is the nation's second oldest patriotic fraternity, predated only by the Society of Cincinnati. Both organizations were formed by army officers to commemorate their participation in historic conflicts. The Aztec Club was first organized as a social club for officers of Scott's command in Mexico City and included many future Civil War generals. Officers of all ranks mingled together at the club's headquarters. So important did the camaraderie become that prior to the army's withdrawal from Mexico members voted to continue the BOOK REVIEWS25I club's existence in perpetuity. Activity waned once the army dispersed to eastern garrisons and frontier posts with no official meeting being held from 1852 until 1867. The club revived following the Civil War under the leadership of Robert Patterson as membership was offered to all officers—both army and navy—who served honorably during the Mexican War. Blood relatives were eventually allowed tojoin as the original members aged, and it is these descendants who have helped keep the organization alive for 150 years. Breithaupt, the current president of the club, has combined a brief overview of the organization with assorted membership lists and biographies of prominent members to produce an impressive scrapbook. The volume also contains miscellaneous anecdotes, a chronology of the war and its battles, and pertinent historical documents. It is richly illustrated with period prints, maps, and photographs of its founders—many which have rarely been seen. The bibliography , which is too short for a book containing nearly 1 500 pages, omits several important works that would have provided context had the author consulted them. Nevertheless, this volume is significant. Information on the Aztec Club has not been readily available before now. While the hefty price tag prevents this from being a book for everyone, scholars and serious students of the Civil War should take the time to browse its pages. Despite the author's claim, however, this...


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