Ohio History Journal

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The Beginnings of the U. S. Army 1783-1812. By James Ripley

Jacobs. (Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1947.

497p. including bibliography and index. $5.00.)

This handsomely bound, beautifully printed, and heavily foot-

noted volume relates in considerable detail and in extremely read-

able form the military history of the United States from the end of

hostilities with Britain in 1783 to their outbreak again in 1812. It

is the first of several volumes that will carry the story down to at

least 1846.

In fourteen well-organized chapters Major Jacobs depicts a

period of our military history never hitherto covered so well. His

interesting narrative, shot through with picturesque phraseology

and salty details, makes the period live in a manner which may

rouse the jealousy of professional historians. The bibliography is

good and the index adequate.

Jacobs' first two chapters are devoted to picturing the demobi-

lization of the young nation's army following the Treaty of Paris in

1783, when congress retained but eighty soldiers on the payroll, and

to depicting the enormous task facing this corporal's guard in pro-

tecting and advancing the frontier. He pushes rapidly ahead, then,

to discuss the tragic expeditions of Generals Harmar and St. Clair

against the Indians of the Old Northwest and the more successful

one of Anthony Wayne. Ohioans will particularly enjoy the in-

teresting and detailed account of these three campaigns, told with

all the enthusiasm of a participant. In this connection it may be

mentioned that so much of the volume deals with the Ohio Valley

that its readers in that area should be legion. The omission of a map

showing the routes followed by Clark, Harmar, St. Clair, Wayne,

and Harrison is partly compensated for by three battle maps.

The second half of the volume is built around James Wilkinson,

the commander of the army in 1797. Since Wilkinson was a partici-

pant in the Revolution and in the whole of the period covered by

this book, it is natural for Major Jacobs to utilize the same canvas,