Texans and War: New Interpretations of the State's Military History

Texans and War: New Interpretations of the State's Military History

Texans and War: New Interpretations of the State's Military History

Texans and War: New Interpretations of the State's Military History


Beginning with tribal wars among Native Americans before Europeans settled Texas and continuing through the Civil War, the soil of what would become the Lone Star State has frequently been stained by the blood of those contesting for control of its resources. In subsequent years and continuing to the present, its citizens have often taken up arms beyond its borders in pursuit of political values and national defense.

Although historians have studied the role of the state and its people in war for well over a century, a wealth of topics remain that deserve greater attention: Tejanos in World War II, the common Texas soldier''s interaction with foreign enemies, the perception of Texas warriors throughout the world, the role of religion among Texans who fight or contemplate fighting, controversial paramilitary groups in Texas, the role and effects of Texans'' ethnicity, culture, and gender during wartime, to name a few. In Texans at War, fourteen scholars provide new studies, perspectives, and historiographies to extend the understanding of this important field.

One of the largest collections of original scholarship on this topic to date, Texans and War will stimulate useful conversation and research among historians, students, and interested general readers. In addition, the breadth and originality of its contributions provide a solid overview of emerging perspectives on the military history and historiography of Texas and the region.


Texas is forever associated with the concept of war. From pre-Columbian Indian conflicts, its inception as a nation and later a state, to modern times, conflict has largely been present in the Lone Star. Battlefields are found throughout the state, from the Battle of Rattlesnake Springs in the trans-Pecos to the Battle of Sabine Pass on the border with Louisiana, and from the Battle of Palo Alto near Brownsville to the Battle of Adobe Walls in the Panhandle. the Battle of the Alamo, one of the most famous events in Texas history, continues to enthrall people across the globe through countless books, movies, and documentaries. Additionally, military terminology is often associated with the fight for San Antonio. For instance, references to the “Alamo” are often attributed to a place or event that will be a last stand or that demonstrate some element of defiance in the face of long odds. Even during World War ii, the very first Special Forces unit in American history was known as the “Alamo Scouts.” Historians and soldiers alike associate the Alamo to Thermopylae, the renowned battle between the Spartans and the Persians, with phrases such as “drawing the line in the sand.” Images of martial Texans, beginning with the Texas Revolution, thus remain strong today, including the stereotype that every resident of the Lone Star State owns a gun.

Even at the turn of the twenty-first century, Texas has many notable military connections. Fort Hood, near Killeen, is the largest army post in the United States and home to the famous 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division. Every airman in the us Air Force goes to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. the American military-industrial complex has also had many homes in Texas, ranging from Boeing in San Antonio to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth and General Dynamics in Garland.

Texas and Texans have also played significant roles in America’s military history. Conflicts in the Lone Star State began with the American Indian tribes fighting for dominance and access to resources such as food, fuel, and water. By the early fifteenth century, Spanish explorers entered the region, sparking a war between the two groups. Additionally, quarrels escalated amid Indian nations to strengthen economic bonds . . .

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