The Challenge of Economics: Readings from Challenge, the Magazine of Economic Affairs

The Challenge of Economics: Readings from Challenge, the Magazine of Economic Affairs

The Challenge of Economics: Readings from Challenge, the Magazine of Economic Affairs

The Challenge of Economics: Readings from Challenge, the Magazine of Economic Affairs

Excerpt

The first time I remember reading about army mules was as a teenager when I discovered Fairfax Downey's Indian Fighting Army in my father's library. After rereading it I made the mistake of loaning the book to a friend. My father lost a lot of good books that way. Years later as an assistant professor of history at East Tennessee State University I was doing research at the National Archives for my dissertation on cavalry horses. I kept running across interesting documents about mules while working my way through several record boxes from the Office of the Quartermaster General. The animals seemed important enough for me to include a chapter in the study "Mules, Packs, and Packtrains." My dissertation director and major professor, Donald E. Worcester, not only agreed but hinted that I might have some misplaced values between cavalry mounts and mules. He was right, of course.

The next year I read a paper based on my mule chapter at the Southwest Social Science meeting in Houston and was asked to submit it for publication to the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. The article was published in July 1970 and to my complete surprise was well received. I have been haphazardly collecting material and publishing articles on these logistical marvels ever since. In 1993- 94, as I was writing "Army Mule" for Montana, The Magazine of Western History, I knew that the time had come to begin writing this volume in earnest. Partial chapters were here and there in a . . .

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