Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Forts and Supplies: The Role of the Army in the Economy of the Southwest, 1846-1861. By Robert W. Frazer. Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press. 1984. Illustrations. Maps. Tables. Bibliography. Index. 253 Pages. $22.50
Forts and Supplies covers the occupation of Military Department No. 9 (present day New Mexico and parts of Arizona, Texas and Colorado) from 1846 to the beginning of the Civil War. Frazer’s thesis is that during those fifteen years the army was the most important factor in the economic development of the region. By establishing military posts and controlling the Indians, the military encouraged settlement, agriculture, ranching and mining. In addition, direct military purchases of local goods and services brought significant funds into the area. Because of the delineation of the topic, this fine study does not include material on San Diego or Southern California. It does, however, provide local historians an excellent model for a comparable study of the economic impact of the military on this region.