Fort Concho and the Texas Frontier J. Evetts Haley, West Texas Legacy Press, $40, Hardcover; 432-687-0223.

fortconchoIn 1952, Haley’s excellent Fort Concho was published in a short press run that guaranteed it would become not only a classic of Texana but a rare book, to boot. (A smart copy today will set you back $500 in the antiquarian book trade.)

Luckily, we now have a more affordable facsimile reprint, which has been enhanced by a brief introduction by novelist Elmer Kelton. The work is exemplary as a history of an army post, but it is more. Haley surveys the west Texas frontier from the first explorations out to the Rio Grande. Haley knew the secret of good history was biography, so he provides us with profiles of the two greatest Fort Concho commandants against hostile Comanches, Apaches and Kiowas: Cols. Ranald Mackenzie and William R. Shafter. This reincarnation of a 50-year-old classic deserves a bravo! —Richard H. Dillon

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