Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Synopsis

From the bitter disputes over secession to the ways in which the conflict would be remembered, Texas and Texans were caught up in the momentous struggles of the American Civil War.

Tens of thousands of Texans joined military units, and scarcely a household in the state was unaffected as mothers and wives assumed new roles in managing farms and plantations. Still others grappled with the massive social, political, and economic changes wrought by the bloodiest conflict in American history.

The sixteen essays (eleven of them new) from some of the leading historians in the field in the second edition of" Lone Star Blue and Gray" illustrate the rich traditions and continuing vitality of Texas Civil War scholarship.

Along with these articles, editors Ralph A. and Robert Wooster provide a succinct introduction to the war and Texas and recommended readings for those seeking further investigations of virtually every aspect of the war as experienced in the Lone Star State.

Excerpt

Ralph A. Wooster and Robert Wooster

In the 1850s a series of events focusing on the expansion of slavery in the national territories divided the Northern and Southern sections of the United States. Increasing numbers of Northerners, convinced of the evils of chattel slavery, were determined to halt its expansion. Most white Southerners, arguing for the primacy of states’ rights, believed that the Federal government had no right to interfere with slavery and looked for ways to expand it.

The 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of the United States on a platform opposing any expansion of slavery convinced many Southerners that separation from the Union was the only means of preserving their way of life. in the winter of 1860–1861 seven states of the lower South seceded from the Union. South Carolina, the most radical Southern state, was the first to take action. in mid-December a state convention passed an ordinance of secession by a unanimous vote. Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama followed in early January, with Georgia and Louisiana joining them a month later.

Texas was the last state in the lower South to secede. a specially elected convention, meeting in late January 1861, adopted an ordinance of secession subject to ratification by the state’s voters. in February Texans approved the ordinance by a three to one margin. the state convention then moved to join Texas with other seceding states in the Confederate States of America.

With these actions Texas and other slaveholding states began a fouryear struggle for recognition as a sovereign nation. the war that followed as Americans fought one another over the preservation of the Union and the independence of the Confederacy was the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history. Between the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 and the final collapse of the Confederacy in late spring 1865, more than seven hun-

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