Civil War Texas: A History and a Guide

Civil War Texas: A History and a Guide

Civil War Texas: A History and a Guide

Civil War Texas: A History and a Guide


Written by one of the deans of Texas history, Civil War Texas provides an authoritative, comprehensive description of Texas during the Civil War as well as a guide for those who wish to visit sites in Texas associated with the war. In one compact volume, the reader or tourist is led on an exciting historical journey through Civil War Texas.

Because most of the great battles of the Civil War were fought east of the Mississippi River, it is often forgotten that Texas made major contributions to the war effort in terms of men and supplies. Over 70,000 Texans served in the Confederate army during the war and fought in almost every major battle. Ordnance works, shops, and depots were established for the manufacture and repair of weapons of war, and Texas cotton shipped through Mexico was exchanged for weapons and ammunition.

The state itself was the target of the Union army and navy. Galveston, the principal seaport, was occupied by Federal forces for three months and blockaded by the Union navy for four years. Brownsville, Port Lavaca, and Indianola were captured, and Sabine Pass, Corpus Christi, and Laredo were all under enemy attack. A major Federal attempt to invade East Texas by way of Louisiana was stopped only a few miles from the Texas border.

The Civil War had significant impact upon life within the state. The naval blockade created shortages requiring Texans to find substitutes for various commodities such as coffee, salt, ink, pins, and needles. The war affected Texas women, many of whom were now required to operate farms and plantations in the absence of their soldier husbands. As the author points out in the narrative, not all Texans supported the Confederacy. Many Texans, especially in the Hill Country and North Texas, opposed secession and attempted either to remain neutral or work for a Union victory. Over two thousand Texans, led by future governor Edmund J. Davis, joined the Union army.

In this carefully researched work, Ralph A. Wooster describes Texas's role in the war. He also notes the location of historical markers, statues, monuments, battle sites, buildings, and museums in Texas which may be visited by those interested in learning more about the war. Photographs, maps, chronology, end notes, and bibliography provide additional information on Civil War Texas.


On February 1, 1861, delegates to the Texas state convention, called to consider federal relations, passed by a vote of 166 to 8, an ordinance separating Texas from the United States. Declaring that the federal government was using its power as a weapon against the Southern people, the secession ordinance repealed the annexation ordinance of 1845 by which Texas joined the American Union. the measure provided that the act of secession would be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection on February 23. If ratified in the popular election the ordinance would become effective on March 2, 1861, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.

Passage of the secession ordinance, and its subsequent ratification by the voters on February 23, came after several years of controversy over the issues of slavery and states’ rights. the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, on a platform pledged to halt the expansion of slavery in the territories, convinced many Southerners that separation from the Union was necessary. in December 1860, South Carolina seceded. the next month Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana held conventions which took similar action. Texas governor Sam Houston opposed calling a convention in Texas, but a group of prominent citizens led by O. M. Roberts, John S. “Rip” Ford, and William P. Rogers issued a call for a convention to consider the issue of federal relations. Elections . . .

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