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2Oio Book Reviews537 ton (chapter seven), and the role of the Texas Cavalry in the Red River Campaign (chapter eleven) . The essays covering military topics are particularly strong. But even those familiar with the material are sure to find something new in each of the essays in the collection. For example, in "The Knights of the Golden Circle in Texas" (chapter four), Linda S. Hudson introduces readers to the "Military Degree Knights" and the important role these low-ranking men played in bringing about secession and ensuring the surrender of Federal forces in the state before the outbreak of the war. Previously thought to be a secretive, shadowy organization , die Knights that emerge from Hudson's detailed research are anything but. On the contrary, Hudson demonstrates the relative openness of the organization and its influence on all facets ofTexas politics. In "A Sacred Charge upon Our Hands" (chapter fourteen), Vicky Betts analyzes the many ways the government and citizenry ofTexas attempted to ease the extreme difficulties faced by families of Confederate soldiers. The state's "first experiment with state-level public welfare" was surprisingly wide-spread, yet not entirely successful. Betts looks at the entire spectrum of aid available during the war years for women and children, ranging from private charitable assistance to mutual aid societies, and to county and state direct assistance. Local newspapers assisted the state government by running stories detailing the plight of residents, playing on the sympathies of those in relative financial comfort. Likewise, stories often linked aid with patriotism: those who were not on the battlefield could do their part indirecdy by helping the families ofTexas's fighting men. Even the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville aided families. According to Betts, the prison textile factory provided cloth to soldiers' families as long as recipients vowed not to use it for sale or barter. Overall, this is a first-rate essay compilation and Editor Howell should be applauded. The essays are tied together smoothly with hardly any overlap; most of the essays chosen for the collection complement each other. The lack of footnotes in Archie McDonald's "Brief Overview" (chapter two) is unfortunate, as this essay alone could serve as a starting point for student research. Additionally,John W. Gorman's excellent quantitative study on frontier defense (chapter five), at a mere seven and one-half pages, seemed all too brief (although that was presumably an editorial decision, as Gorman included four and one-half pages of data). These small criticisms aside, The Seventh Star ofthe Confederacy is an important collection for any historian of the Civil War period in Texas and would serve as an excellent book for undergraduates. Texas Lutheran UniversityRebecca A. Kosary The Fate of Texas: The Civil War and the Lone Star State. Edited by Charles D. Grear. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2008. Pp. 294. Illustrations, notes, selected bibliography, index. ISBN 9781557288837, $37.50 clodi.) Charles D. Grear has enlisted an impressive group of historians to present some of the latest research on Civil War-era Texas. The volume's eleven essays cover a diverse host of topics that reflect the current state of Civil War literature, 538Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril move beyond traditional military and political narratives, and reveal that there is still a burgeoning area of inquiry within Texas's Civil War experience. With die exception of the first chapter, which examines the Lone Star State's role in the formation of Confederate strategy, most of the essays present a "bottom-up" view ofthe war's impact on Texas's citizens and soldiers. A collection oflocal studies, for example, use various communities as test cases to address larger historiographie issues and problems. Richard B. McCaslin presents a condensed version of his fine book, Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, 1862 (1994), and highlights the significance of wartime dissent, vigilantism, and violence on Texas's home front. Similarly, studies on two Texas counties conducted by Angela Boswell and Randolph B. Campbell demonstrate the further importance of local investigations. Using exhaustive collections of local government records and private correspondence, Boswell examines the role of women in Colorado County and concludes that the Civil War afforded women more independence and presented...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 537-539
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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