The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas during the Civil War

The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas during the Civil War

The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas during the Civil War

The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas during the Civil War

Synopsis

On February 1, 1861, delegates at the Texas Secession Convention elected to leave the Union. The people of Texas supported the actions of the convention in a statewide referendum, paving the way for the state to secede and to officially become the seventh state in the Confederacy. Soon the Texans found themselves engaged in a bloody and prolonged civil war against their northern brethren. During the curse of this war, the lives of thousands of Texans, both young and old, were changed forever.

This new anthology, edited by Kenneth W. Howell, incorporates the latest scholarly research on how Texans experienced the war. Eighteen contributors take us from the battlefront to the home front, ranging from inside the walls of a Confederate prison to inside the homes of women and children left to fend for themselves while their husbands and fathers were away on distant battlefields, and from the halls of the governor's mansion to the halls of the county commissioner's court in Colorado County. Also explored are well-known battles that took place in or near Texas, such as the Battle of Galveston, the Battle of Nueces, the Battle of Sabine Pass, and the Red River Campaign. Finally, the social and cultural aspects of the war receive new analysis, including the experiences of women, African Americans, Union prisoners of war, and noncombatants.

Excerpt

I first became fascinated with the Civil War as a young boy after viewing the movie Horse Soldiers, starring John Wayne. I have vivid memories of watching this film with my father and afterwards going outside to reenact various scenes from the movie in my backyard. As I grew older, I read numerous books on the Civil War, especially those written by Bruce Catton. In college, I took a class on the Civil War with Dr. James Smallwood at the University of Texas at Tyler. As part of the course requirements, I wrote a paper on Terry’s Texas Rangers. Having recently found a copy of the paper tucked away in one of my file cabinets, I realize now that it was a pitiful scholarly effort, but it did further my academic interest in the subject of Texas’s involvement in the war.

Shortly after graduating from UT-Tyler, I viewed Ken Burns’s PBS special The Civil War. I still remember being mesmerized by Burns’s documentary, especially the stories related to the social and cultural aspects of the war. Just as Burns attempted to do in his documentary, I have tried to provide a balance of military, social, and cultural history to explain Texas’s involvement in one of the most pivotal moments in American history. However, I must confess that before I decided to edit this volume, I was actually in the early stages of working on a proposal for an edited volume covering Reconstruction Texas. One night as I discussed various ideas and topics for this project with my close friend James Smallwood, he suggested that I might first consider editing a similar book on the Civil War. Our conversation became the genesis of this volume. During the weeks that followed, I came to the conclusion that Smallwood was right, especially since the sesquicentennial of the war was quickly approaching. As a result, I began work on this volume.

Early in this study, readers are introduced to the causes of the Civil War and the motivations behind Texas’s decision to leave the Union. Overwhelmingly the people of Texas supported the actions of the delegates at the secession convention in a statewide referendum, paving the way for the state to secede from the Union and to officially become the seventh state to join the Confederacy. Quickly after secession, Texans found themselves engaged in a bloody and prolonged civil war against their Northern brethren. During the course of this war, the lives of thousands of Texans, both young and old, were changed forever. This study will examine how Texans experienced the conflict. The contributors to this anthology will take us from the battlefront to the home front; from inside the walls of a Confederate prison to inside the walls of the homes of women and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.