At Sword’s Point

book-reviews_sword-point_william-p-mackinnon_kingdom-in-west-seriesThis excellent book (with Part II to follow) continues Clark’s “Kingdom in the West” series.

The volumes will surely become the definitive history of the Utah War (1857-58) in which the Army invaded a hostile Utah territory to replace Brigham Young with a non-Mormon governor. The campaign, often described as bloodless, was not. MacKinnon, with his extended quotes from diaries and other documents, plus his own scholarly commentary, is especially good at covering the planning of the invasion by President James Buchanan and his secretary of war, and in reporting on Gen. Winfield Scott and the expedition’s first commander, Indian fighter Col. William S. Harney, replaced at the last minute by Col. Albert Sidney Johnston. —Richard H. Dillon

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