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U.S. Army Center of Military History
Winter 2015 Issue of Army History Magazine

In this Issue:

"A Leap in the Dark"   The Campaign to Conquer New Mexico and California, 1846–1847
By Cory S. Hollon

"At Whatever the Cost"   The Fight for The Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania Court House, 12 May 1864
By Charles W. Morrison

Army Artifact Spotlight:
Shoe Pacs - A Warm Welcome in the Ardennes

Army History Magazine

Winter 2015 Edition

The Winter 2015 issue of Army History presents two intriguing articles, one that examines operations during the Mexican War at the strategic level and the other analyzes campaigns of the American Civil War at the tactical level. The first article, by Cory S. Hollon, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, follows Brig. Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny and his Army of the West in 1846 as they traveled west. They had orders to secure the Mexican-held territories of New Mexico and Upper California and, in the words of Secretary of War William L. Marcy, "render them friendly to the United States." Kearny's arduous trek, the many setbacks faced along the way, and the arrival in California culminating in the Battle of San Pasqual are all detailed. Hollon highlights the logistical difficulties, the vague nature of Kearny's orders, the many personality conflicts, and the problems associated with conducting an early example of what we now call a joint service operation.

The second article, by Army Lt. Col. Charles W. Morrison, studies the fight for the Mule Shoe salient (or Bloody Angle) at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. Morrison draws particular attention to Col. Emory Upton's initial assault of 10 May on the Mule Shoe and goes on to show how many lessons from this action were not implemented in the larger attack on the same position on 12 May.

This issue's Artifact Spotlight looks at the Shoe Pacs worn by U.S. soldiers in World War II, particularly during the frigid fighting in the Ardennes forest from December 1944 to January 1945. The new acting chief of military history introduces himself and discusses the many actions and activities that will take place in the coming months involving the Center of Military History and members of the Army history community.

This issue also includes a number of interesting book reviews and an update about Career Program 61 training opportunities.

I invite our readers to continue to submit articles and commentaries on the history of the Army, and, as always, I welcome your comments on our publication and its recent contributions.

- Managing Editor


The Battle of San Pasqual by Col. Charles H. Waterhouse