As the fledgling nation looked west to the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains, it turned to the army to advance and defend its national interests. Clashing with Spain, Britain, France, Mexico, the Confederacy, and Indians in this pursuit of expansion, the Army's failures and successes alternately delayed and hastened western migration. Roads, river improvements, and railroads, often constructed or facilitated by the army, further solidified the nation's presence as it reached the Pacific Ocean and expanded north and south to the borders of Canada and Mexico. Western military experiences thus illustrate the dual role played by the United States Army in insuring national security and fostering national development.
Robert Wooster's study examines the fundamental importance of military affairs to social, economic, and political life throughout the borderlands and western frontiers. Integrating the work of other military historians as well as tapping into a broad array of primary materials, Wooster offers a multifaceted narrative that will shape our understanding of the frontier military experience, its relationship with broader concerns of national politics, and its connection to major themes and events in American history.
©2009 University of New Mexico Press (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks
"This impressive volume sums up and advances understanding of the US Army in the West. Highly recommended." (Choice)
"Wooster deserves an appreciative audience for this work, among both lay readers and specialists alike." (Great Plains Quarterly)
"Historians of the frontier, American West, and United States military will find gems of insight in its pages." (American Historical Review)
This book is an overview of the U.S. Army’s involvement in the Indian Wars from 1783 to 1900. It covered the essential material explaining their involvement with western expansionism of the U.S. population, their assistance in improving the frontier infrastructure through the building of roads and assisting with the construction of railroads.
While this study is written by and for the military historian, it does represent all of the peoples involved. From the hotly contested establishment of a standing army, through the initial learning curves of the early years, to establishing and defending the westward expansion. As what constituted the western territories moved on, so did the involvement of central government, development of the standing army, state militias, greed, and the multiplicity of indigenous tribes. Well documented sources provide the information both lauding and condemning various leaders of the government, army, and various tribes. I have no claim to being a military historian, that was my husband, and regarding our Rev War. I did learn much from this forthright and easily understandable presentation. There are so many notable persons and places referenced here, that we should consider this the backstory of their involvement impacting us. This is not a light read, but anyone interested in this period of our history need not approach it as if written solely for military aggrandizement. It is not.
As usual, Narrator Jack performs the audio interpretation of what might have been a somewhat dry piece with the talent and professionalism which enhances the listener's appreciation of the material presented.
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