Academic journal article Military Review

General William S. Harney: Prince of Dragoons

Academic journal article Military Review

General William S. Harney: Prince of Dragoons

Article excerpt

GENERAL WILLIAM S. HARNEY: Prince of Dragoons, George Rollie Adams, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2001, 389 pages, $50.00.

George Rollie Adams' biography of General William S. Harney is a delightful work of scholarship on the 19th-century U.S. Army and one of its key, but lesser known, military leaders. Adams' well-researched, nicely illustrated, and well-written account of Harney and his times effectively combines Western religious historian Francis Paul Prucha's approach of stressing the Army's non-- military contributions to national development with historian and writer Edward Coffman's emphasis on the Old Army's maturation from the soldier's perspective. Moreover, Adams highlights the evolution of the officer corps as a profession of arms much the same as does history professor William Skelton. He also includes excellent analyses of tactics, techniques, and procedures the U.S. antebellum military employed, which avid readers of military history will also find in the works of historian Robert Utley. Adams' ability to combine these aspects into a single biography of Harney is most commendable.

Harney's military career spanned more than 50 years. From his commissioning in 1818 to his role in the Indian Peace Commission in the late 1860s, Harney participated in several significant events. …

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