The Army in Transformation, 1790-1860

Overview

What was it like to be a heavily burdened U.S. soldier on the march in the first half of the 19th century? How did soldiers survive in leaky, flea-ridden huts in Kansas? How many men were convinced to enlist based on the promise of easy, pleasing work? From the early Indian wars in the Ohio Territory in the 1790s, to the Mexican wars in Texas in the 1850s, American Soldiers' Lives: The Army in Transformation, 1790-1860 by James M. McCaffrey describes the soldiers lives, often by letting them speak for themselves ...

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Overview

What was it like to be a heavily burdened U.S. soldier on the march in the first half of the 19th century? How did soldiers survive in leaky, flea-ridden huts in Kansas? How many men were convinced to enlist based on the promise of easy, pleasing work? From the early Indian wars in the Ohio Territory in the 1790s, to the Mexican wars in Texas in the 1850s, American Soldiers' Lives: The Army in Transformation, 1790-1860 by James M. McCaffrey describes the soldiers lives, often by letting them speak for themselves through their letters, diaries, and journals. This book describes recruitment, training, the day-to-day routine and living conditions; and some of the most significant battles and campaigns of the period. It also includes a timeline and an extensive, topically arranged bibliography of more than 500 sources.

James M. McCaffrey provides a social history of soldiers that goes beyond the publications on warfare that deal with strategy and tactics and the big picture. Understanding what motivated soldiers to do the things they did-whether it was enlisting in the first place, or getting drunk, or deserting from the army, or any number of other activities-helps to complete the study of how the army was able to succeed as it did and, perhaps, why it failed to accomplish even more. High school and college students, researchers, and those interested in military history will find these features and information included: -A timeline of military-related events from 1790 to 1861. -The early 19th conflicts facing the young United States' security, such as Indian wars and forced resettlements, the War of 1812, the wars against Mexico in Texas, and the Mormon battalions that fought both for and ran afoul against the U.S. government. -Recruitment and training. -The day-to-day routine of most soldiers, in and out of combat. -The experience of being in battle. -Food and clothing. -Medical care. -Military justice, including court martial offenses and executions -An extensive bibliography with more than 500 sources, ranging from historical surveys and illustrated histories to articles, diaries, and primary documents from the U.S. government. -A comprehensive index.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[M]cCaffey's book provides an engaging introdcution for students….[M]cCaffey succeeds in his goal of presenting students and general readers with a fast-paced and colorful introduction to apsects of military life in the early national and antebellum eras."

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The Journal of Military History

"[A]n outstanding array of primary sources."

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Army History

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JAMES M. MCCAFFREY is Professor of History at the University of Houston-Downtown. Among his publications are "Only a Private": A Texan Remembers the Civil War: The Memoirs of William J. Oliphant (2004), "Surrounded by Dangers of All Kinds": The Mexican War Letters of Lieutenant Theodore Laidley (1997), Wake Island Pilot: A World War II Memoir (with John F. Kinney, 1995), Army of Manifest Destiny: The American Soldier in the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (1992), and This Band of Heroes: Granbury's Texas Brigade, C.S.A. (1985).

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