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Shavetails and Bell Sharps: The History of the U.S. Army Mule

by Essin, Emmett M.
Publisher: Bison
Retail Price: $19.95
Issue: Summer 2001
ISBN: 0803267401

Now available in softcover, Emmett M. Essin's study of mule usage in military conflicts from the Mexican War to World War II draws attention to the real horsepower behind army logistics. A chapter on the Civil War describes the "indispensable" role fulfilled by army mules, especially as horses grew scarcer. "The Peninsula Campaign in 1862 serves as an early example of the use of mule power and army logistics during the war," Essin writes. "The shipping of thousands of horses, mules, and wagons from the coast to the James-York Peninsula made the amphibious operation near Vera Cruz during the Mexican War seem almost insignificant."

review of Shavetails and Bell Sharps: The History of the U.S. Army Mule, by Essin, Emmett M., Civil War Book Review, (Summer 2001).