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Why Texans Fought in the Civil War

By Charles David Grear

Publication Year: 2010

In Why Texans Fought in the Civil War, Charles David Grear provides insights into what motivated Texans to fight for the Confederacy. Mining important primary sources—including thousands of letters and unpublished journals—he affords readers the opportunity to hear, often in the combatants’ own words, why it was so important to them to engage in tumultuous struggles occurring so far from home. As Grear notes, in the decade prior to the Civil War the population of Texas had tripled. The state was increasingly populated by immigrants from all parts of the South and foreign countries. When the war began, it was not just Texas that many of these soldiers enlisted to protect, but also their native states, where they had family ties.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiii

It is impossible to express my gratitude for all the people who have supported me in this endeavor. Throughout the process numerous individuals have contributed in many different ways. I owe appreciation to my academic mentors, Donald Frazier, Alwyn Barr, David Snead, and Steven E. Woodworth. Professors ...

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pp. 1-9

On July 2, 1863, the cracking of the rifles and the burst of cannons rung loud in the ears of Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood’s Texans as they rushed through the Devil’s Den toward Little Round Top, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A Texas officer “pointed to ‘Little Round Top’ in the distance, and said ‘Follow the Lone Star Flag to the top of the mountain.’” As the men encroached upon ...

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2. INTO THE FRAY: Why Texans Fought in the Civil War

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pp. 10-40

By 1861, when the Civil War began, Texas had launched a successful revolution and existed as both a republic and a state for a quarter of a century. Throughout this period, many different people and cultures exerted their influences on the Lone Star State. In the time before the Texas Revolu- ...

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3. DEFENSE OF THE LONE STAR STATE: Why Texans Fought in the Trans-Mississippi

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pp. 41-71

Since Texans lived in the westernmost state in the Confederacy, they had many more options as to where they could serve than other Southern soldiers. Most Texans decided to fight in the trans-Mississippi—especially Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Indian Territory, Texas, Arizona, and New ...

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4. DEFENSE OF THEIR FORMER HOMES: Why Texans Fought East of the Mississippi River

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pp. 72-98

The majority of Civil War battles were fought east of the Mississippi River, and Texans participated in almost every engagement. Approximately a quarter of all units raised in Texas fought east of Old Man River. Most of these soldiers had their origins in one way or the other from that region, ...

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5. DEMORALIZATION AND DESERTION: Why Texans Returned to the Lone Star State during the War

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pp. 99-134

As the Civil War stretched into a second year and then a third, Texans’ priorities began to change. The men began contemplating whether they wanted to continue the struggle. Early in the war, soldiers expected the conflict to be brief, so when Texans received orders transferring them to ...

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6. FIGHTING IN A NEW LAND: Why Foreign Immigrants and Minorities in Texas Fought

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pp. 135-162

A section of Texas society that was difficult to ignore but often overlooked were the recent immigrants into the state. In the antebellum period, Texas experienced a major population increase through migrants from the eastern United States and immigrants from other countries. During the...

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pp. 163-170

In the summer of 1860, J. P. Johnson, a fourteen-year-old Texan, looked into the sky along with thousands of others and saw “the big comet” that “lighted up the earth, almost equal to the moon.” Emotions overflowed across the country, stirring “a good deal of excitement.” Was this an omen for the years...


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pp. 171-211


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pp. 213-230


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pp. 231-239

E-ISBN-13: 9781603443050
E-ISBN-10: 1603443053
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603441728
Print-ISBN-10: 1603441727

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 27 b&w photos. 6 maps. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Sam Rayburn Series on Rural Life, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce
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OCLC Number: 680622522
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Why Texans Fought in the Civil War

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Subject Headings

  • Soldiers -- Texas -- Attitudes -- History -- 19th century.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Texas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Soldiers -- Texas -- Psychology -- History -- 19th century.
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