The American Military Frontiers: The United States Army in the West, 1783-1900

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $23.97
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 40%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $23.97   
  • New (2) from $33.95   
  • Used (4) from $23.97   


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.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826338433
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2009
  • Series: Histories of the American Frontier Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 379
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Wooster is Regents Professor of history at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is author or editor of ten books on the army, the West, and the Civil War, most recently Frontier Crossroads: Fort Davis and the West.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Ch. 1 Defeat and Victory in the Ohio Valley 1

Ch. 2 Sword of the Nation 20

Ch. 3 Sharpening the Nation's Sword 39

Ch. 4 Asserting National Sovereignty 57

Ch. 5 The Wars of Indian Removal 78

Ch. 6 Agent of Manifest Destiny 96

Ch. 7 Constabularies in Blue 118

Ch. 8 Frontier Regulars and the Collapse of the Union 143

Ch. 9 Civil Wars in the Borderlands 163

Ch. 10 The Regulars Return 188

Ch. 11 Testing the Peace Policy 216

Ch. 12 Conquest of a Continent 238

Epilogue: The Long Frontier 268

Abbreviations 277

Notes 279

Bibliography 317

Index 351

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 2, 2009

    role of the U.S. Army in the growth of the United States

    The westward presence of the U. S. Army beginning after the Revolutionary War marked the frontier of the growing continental United States. This presence was usually indicated by forts. In many cases, forts would follow defeat of local Native Americans or in the Southwest, notably Texas, defeat of Spanish or Mexican resistance. As well as bases for maintaining the U.S. presence and possible military actions against following uprisings of Native Americans, the forts became centers for commerce and origins of civilian communities.

    Following the progression of the frontier across the continent, Wooster elaborates on the Army presence much beyond the usual understanding as a military protector engaged in the pacification of Indians to the Army as integrally involved in settlement, growth, and knitting together widespread communities. The Texas A&M history professor and author of 10 books modifies the picture of the frontier Army--ordinarily regarded as cavalry--from that of riding to the rescue with trumpets blaring and flags flying to one of an organization involved in all dimensions of the development of an area.

    Hiring civilians for work for maintaining or extending its presence and purposes was but one way the Army interacted with civilians. Native American and Anglo scouts used in the Indian Wars were a well-known, colorful example. But mundane work such as gathering wood or transporting provisions was also required. Army detachments also worked closely with companies laying railroad tracks and building roads necessary for national growth by bringing in greater numbers and diverse types of civilians and supporting related commercial enterprises. At times, the duties of the military and work of civilians became intermingled so as to be indistinguishable.

    Wooster gives a scholarly, accessible study of this overlooked side of the U. S. Army in the nation's growth to the Pacific shores. One finds occasional nods to recent perspectives on the nature of the unstoppable growth of the United States during the 1800s. In the Preface, he remarks that "[m]odern scholars rightly shy away from using pejorative phrases like 'the advance of civilization' to describe the expansion of the United States...." Elsewhere, in introducing Manifest Destiny, the author recognizes that the practice of relocating Native American tribes so they could advance in the "peaceful arts of seem[s] repugnant." Avoiding supporting one side or another in such questions, Wooster as a professional historian gives a solid historical account drawing broad patterns while involving significant individuals, local events, and portrayals of varied locations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)