Peacekeepers and Conquerors: The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier, 1821-1846

Peacekeepers and Conquerors The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier In Jackson s Sword Samuel Watson showed how the U S Army officer corps played a crucial role in stabilizing the frontiers of a rapidly expanding nation In this sequel volume he chronicles how the co

  • Title: Peacekeepers and Conquerors: The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier, 1821-1846
  • Author: Samuel J. Watson
  • ISBN: 9780700619153
  • Page: 103
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Jackson s Sword, Samuel Watson showed how the U.S Army officer corps played a crucial role in stabilizing the frontiers of a rapidly expanding nation In this sequel volume, he chronicles how the corps responsibilities and leadership along the young nation s borders continued to grow In the process, he shows, officers reflected an increasing commitment to professionaIn Jackson s Sword, Samuel Watson showed how the U.S Army officer corps played a crucial role in stabilizing the frontiers of a rapidly expanding nation In this sequel volume, he chronicles how the corps responsibilities and leadership along the young nation s borders continued to grow In the process, he shows, officers reflected an increasing commitment to professionalism, insulation from partisanship, and deference to civilian authority all tempered in the forge of frustrating, politically complex operations and diplomacy along the nation s frontiers Watson now focuses on the quarter century between the Army s reduction in force in 1821 and the Mexican War He examines a broad swath of military activity beginning with campaigns against southeastern Indians, notably the dispossession of the Creeks remaining in Georgia and Alabama from 1825 to 1834 the expropriation of the Cherokee between 1836 and 1838 and the Second Seminole War He also explores peacekeeping on the Canadian border, which exploded in rebellion against British rule at the end of 1837, prompting British officials to applaud the U.S Army for calming tensions and demonstrating its government s support for the international state system He then follows the gradual extension of U.S sovereignty in the Southwest through military operations west of the Missouri River and along the Louisiana Texas border from 1821 to 1838 and through dragoon expeditions onto the central and southern Plains between 1834 and 1845 Throughout his account, Watson shows how military professionalism did not develop independent of civilian society, nor was it simply a matter of growing expertise in the art of conventional warfare Indeed, the government trusted career army officers to serve as federal, international, and interethnic mediators, national law enforcers, and de facto intercultural and international peacekeepers He also explores officers attitudes toward Britain, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico to assess their values and priorities on the eve of the first conventional war the United States had fought in than three decades Watson s detailed study delves deeply into sources that reveal what officers actually thought, wrote, and did in the frontier and border regions By examining the range of operations over the course of this quarter century, he shows that the processes of peacekeeping, coercive diplomacy, and conquest were intricately and inextricably woven together.

    One thought on “Peacekeepers and Conquerors: The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier, 1821-1846”

    1. The author seems to have read every piece of writing, public or private, of every US Army officer and cadet in this period (from the Cherokee removal to the outbreak of the Mexican War). Several famous Civil War generals appear as cadets, lieutenants, and captains. It's a damned fat thick square book, mainly for specialists. There is not even a summary of the course and outcome of the various Indian wars in this period--apparently the reader is assumed to be familiar with the Second Seminole War [...]

    2. While I don't agree with Watson on all points in this book or its predecessor volume _Jacksons's Sword_ (especially his view of the Corps of Engineers' national defense plans in this era), he has provided a detailed and deeply-researched argument that clearly demonstrates how the army's involvement in its traditional frontier constabulary roles (both in terms of the use and the restraint of violence) contributed immensely to the development of military professionalism.

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