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BOOK REVIEWS73 a sudden, out of the night came the sound of enemy cavalry, yelling "Whoa! Whoa!" Bevens's captain jumped up and ordered, "Fall in, fall in men." In battle line they found no horsemen, and only the enlisted men learned the identity of the joker who had run in dragging trace chains. On the question of morale and fighting spirit, Bevens clearly supports Daniel's view. Bevens celebrated the first day of Shiloh and declared that the second day would have been won if Albert Sidney Johnston had not been killed. Exalting in the Confederate advance on the first day at Murfreesboro, he recalled, "We soon had them on the run" (113). Bevens was proud of Bragg's demanding marches. "The old general trained us to walk until horses could not beat us" (89), he declared, and the Kentucky invasion left them "tough as whitleather, ready for anything" (101). Sutherland's editing is outstanding and tends to make up for some of the times when the veteran was frustratingly reticent. For example, the reader, wishing for more details on the action at the Hornets' Nest at Shiloh, is disappointed that Bevens relied totally on a published speech of a comrade for his account of the battle of Franklin. James A. Ramage Northern Kentucky University Frontier Defense in the Civil War: Texas' Rangers and Rebels. By David Paul Smith. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992. Pp. xiv, 237. $39.50.) During the Civil War Texas was the only Confederate state plagued with an active Indian frontier. The problem was not new. Texans had used the federal government's failure to protect settlers from marauding Plains tribes as one of the primary reasons to secede. When the U.S. Army evacuated military posts in 1861, the defense of the frontier theoretically fell to the Confederacy. Nonetheless, Texans still continued to have problems in western counties; in some areas, attacks by hostile Indians, particularly Kiowas and Comanches, intensified. As the war progressed and the settlement line retreated steadily eastward, many civilians felt that they had traded one inadequate government for another. Texas had three frontiers. One was along the Red River, dividing Texas from the civilized tribes in the Indian territory; a second was the Rio Grande, separating the state from Mexico; a third, the Indian frontier, was an irregular line, roughly four-hundred-miles long, that ran north from the vicinity of Eagle Pass on the Rio Grande west of San Antonio to near present-day Wichita Falls on the Red River. In the twelve years prior to the war, the federal government had shouldered the responsibility for frontier defense and had stationed one-fourth of the entire army in scattered military posts. The army's abrupt departure in 1861 left a 74CIVIL WAR HISTORY critical void. This book focuses on the third frontier; it is the story of the men who replaced the Federal forces and patrolled the western counties from 1861 until 1865. By the time of the Civil War, the name Ranger had become associated with Texas, and had already become part of the frontier mystique. In 1861 many military units crossing the Mississippi River adopted this honored title because it carried a certain distinction. But the men in this book were not soldiers serving in distant armies; they were members of local, state, or Confederate organizations variously called Border Regiments , Frontier Regiments, Texas Mounted Rifles, minutemen, and state troops. Charged with safeguarding the state's western counties, these men provided a haphazard screen from bands of roaming Indians and tried to stabilize the constantly shifting settlement line. The war years were different from the decades before and after because Indian raids constituted only one of several nuisances. As war weariness increased, men eluding the draft flooded into the Texas back country and deserters took to the brush to avoid capture. State and Confederate authorities disagreed over the proper way to handle the spiraling dilemma and as a result made any long range solution difficult and often impossible . Texans complained that the War Department never provided adequate troops to quiet the frontier. Professor Smith estimates that nearly four hundred Texans were killed, wounded, or captured by Indians...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 73-75
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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