(April 30, 2014)
Once again, the text of the Book of Mormon is consistent in a way that our understanding of it is not. When I think of warfare, I think of firmly entrenched lines and movement along fronts. This was also the manner of war during Joseph Smith’s time (think of the arrayed lines during the Revolutionary War). There were rare exceptions, but generally the understanding of war at that time was one of armies and fronts.
The warfare described in the Book of Mormon is different (and consistent with Mesoamerican warfare). To highlight that difference, look at the approaches of the Lamanites to Bountiful. To my understanding of warfare, this struck me as odd (after all, Bountiful was in the north, and the war was going on in the southeast and southwest). But with isolated areas and expansive wilderness in between (and muddled loyalties) it makes perfect sense from a Mesoamerican standpoint.