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266Southwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober ing a Republic of the Sierra Madre as an independent buffer state in northern Mexico. Probably die best known filibuster wasJosé María de Jesús Carvajal who rallied several hundred Texas mercenaries into a mob called the "Liberating Army of Northern Mexico." In what was known as the "Merchant's War," Carvajal and his rabble captured Camargo and attacking Matamoros, only to be defeated by a superior force of the Mexican army in street-to-street, house-to-house fighting. Certainly the most serious uprising on the Rio Grande, one that would send hundreds of Texas Rangers and the United States Army scurrying for the Rio Grande, was the Cortina War of 1859-1860. Although Collins did not have available a recent biography of Cortina that corrects many of the errors of previous writings on die subject, his treatment of this revolutionary event is thorough and objective. Collins's geography is a bit shaky at times (the small port of Brazos Santiago was not at the mouth ofthe Rio Grande and the Battle ofValverde was a long way from the southern Sangre de Cristos) he superbly depicts events along the Rio Grande. As one who has spent halfa lifetime trying to understand what happened on the border in the crucial decade prior to the Civil War, I hasten to recommend Michael Collins superbly researched and entertaining book. Texas AäfM International UniversityJerry Thompson The Feud that Wasn ?: TL· Taylor Ring Bill Sutton, fohn Wesley Hardin, and Violence in Texas. ByJames M. Smallwood. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. Pp. 254. Illustrations, maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9781603440172, $2g.95 cloth.) James M. Smallwood's TheFeud that Wasn't is a straightforward narrative ofviolent conflict in Reconstruction-era Texas between members of the "Taylor Ring" and the forces of Unionism and law enforcement. The Feud that Wasn't stakes its claim as a corrective to the long-held belief that the "Taylor-Sutton Feud" in Reconstruction-era Texas was merely some type of long-running feud between the pro-Confederacy Taylor forces and Unionist elements led by peace officer William "Bill" Sutton. Smallwood eschews the use of the terms "gang" and "organization" to describe the Taylor outfit in favor ofthe term "ring." Founded by brothers Creed and Pitkin Taylor in the 1850s, by the end of the Civil War the Taylor Ring had expanded their horse and cattle rusding operations to include attacking and terrorizing freedmen and white Unionists. Its almost 200 members were never active in the ring at the same time and the same locations during die twenty-five year lifespan of the ring. However, the bonds between these Texans were cemented by their kindred interests and shared goals of plunder and profit, using the "Lost Cause" asjustification for their malfeasance. This book is also an important contribution to the history of crime and punishment in Texas. The author chronicles the complexities of policing rural Texas, a task that still confounds law enforcement today. The confusion between the chain of command and authority among civilian and military authorities as well as over jurisdictional limits bedeviled any attempts at maintaining law and order. This was 20ogBook Reviews267 especially true after 1868, when Union occupation troops were vastly diminished and relegated to the Indian frontier. A lack of manpower enabled Taylor Ring associates to run roughshod over Soudi Texas as bounty hunters, vigilante groups, county sheriffs, and others chased after them dirough more than forty counties. Between 1 870 and 1873 the ephemeral Texas State Police (40 percent were freedmen ) were expected to fill the void left by the removal of the army but were stifled by racist attitudes and litde public support. In the end, it was a resurgent Democratic Party that repealed the State Police Law in 1873, leaving law enforcement to local and county officials. In this complicated landscape, deciding who were the good guys or bad guys depended on where one stood on the Civil War. Under Republican domination the Democrats tolerated the terror and violence ofanti-Union elements. Once back in power, the new government reintroduced the state militia, which had a force of 3,500 men to assist local authorities...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 266-267
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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