- Maverick Tales: True Stories of Early Texas, and: My Eighty Years in Texas, and: Cannon Smoke: the Letters of Captain John J. Good, Good-Douglas-Texas Battery, CSA, and: Dear America: Some Letters of Orange Cicero and Mary America (Akin) Connor (review)
- Civil War History
- The Kent State University Press
- Volume 18, Number 3, September 1972
- pp. 282-283
- View Citation
- Additional Information
282CIVIL WAR HISTORY and attractive. Nineteenth-century Protestantism particularly is made unusually intelligible, and even to seem relevant. In general the work has the great merit of relating the internal history of Protestantism to its wider cultural context. It would, therefore, make a fine supplementary text for courses in political or cultural history. George M. Marsden Calvin College Maverick Tales: True Stories of Early Texas. By J. D. Rittenhouse. (New York: Winchester Press, 1971. Pp. iv, 248. 88.95.) My Eighty Years in Texas. By William Physick Zuber. Edited by Janis Boyle Mayfield with Notes and an Introduction by Llerena Friend. (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1971. Pp. xviii, 285. $7.50.) Cannon Smoke: the Letters of Captain John J. Good, Good-DouglasTexas Battery, CSA. Compiled and edited by Lester Newton Fitzhugh. (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1971. Pp. x, 209. $7.50.) Dear America: Some Letters of Orange Cicero and Mary America (Akin) Connor. Edited by Seymour V. Connor. (Austin and New York: Jenkins Publishing Company, The Pemberton Press, 1971. Pp. xvi, 132. $6.95. ) Each of these four volumes offers something on nineteenth century Texas. None represents a major contribution, yet each will have appeal to an audience of buffs or scholars interested in the subjects covered. Jack Rittenhouse's work is a well written collection of tales of lesser known episodes of Texas history—LaSaIIe, Magee-Gutierrez, the Texas Navy, the Black Bean incident, the Confederate invasion of New Mexico , the Battles of Sabine Pass and Palmito Ranch, the Comaneheros, the Great Buffalo Hunt, the Red River Raft, the Salt War, and several outlaw tales. These were, according to the author, "not written for professional historians, for they should have known all this before they won their degrees," but rather they were aimed at the general audience. They come close to being a bull's eye. William P. Zuber is best known as the author of the much disputed account of Moses Rose's escape from the Alamo, which included Travis' final speech and the description of his drawing the line which all except Rose chose to cross. The Rose article and a fine historiographie analysis of it by Llerena Friend are here appended to Zuber's memoirs, the bulk of which relate to his experiences in the Texas Revolution, the army during the Republic, and the Civil War. It is Zuber's recollections of the Civil War which offer more than just personal insights about major events in Texas history. As a member of Company H of the 21st Texas Cavalry, Zuber was involved in several important campaigns in Arkansas , Missouri, and Louisiana. He was one of the few members of his BOOK REVIEWS283 unit to leave an account of his experiences—perhaps the only one. Moreover , Zuber's writings were based on his diaries, and thus suffer only a few of the shortcomings usually found in memoirs written half-acentury after the fact. John Jay Good's letters also offer a first hand look at an aspect of the western campaigns of the Civil War for which a relatively few contemporary documents exist—the artillery. Organized prior to the war as the Dallas Light Artillery and mustered into the State Troops in April, 1861 as the First Texas Artillery, Good's unit was sent almost immediately to Arkansas, where it served in Ben McCulloch's division. During the year Good headed the battery, which these letters cover, it moved a great deal throughout northern Arkansas and southern Missouri before taking part in its only major engagement under Good's command, the Battle of Pea Ridge. The seventy-five letters from Good to his wife are filled with command politics, problems of supply, and rumors of the movements of both friend and foe. They undoubtedly offer some insight into the peculiar problems of artillery units in the western theater of the war. His wife's letters, of which there are thirtyodd in this collection, cover the family's health, crops, and business, as well as local political matters and military news. While often touching in their sentiments, Susan Good's letters contain little of consequence about the home front not already available in...