Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

The trans-Mississippi theater of the American Civil War remains to a remarkable degree unknown and underappreciated. Despite the romantic allure of the New Mexico campaign of 1862, the pathos of the war in Indian Territory, the drama of the recapture of Galveston, the heroic defense...

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Acknowledgments

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p. xiii

Among those scholars who are beginning to cast a full light upon the trans-Mississippi are Anne J. Bailey, Michael E. Banasik, Alwyn Barr, Norman D. Brown, Mark K. Christ, Edward T. Cotham, Joseph G. Dawson III, Donald S. Frazier, David B. Gracy II, Charles D. Grear, Richard W...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

The Confederate states of Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri, the parishes of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, the Indian Territory, and the New Mexico Territory constituted what Richmond editor Edward Alfred Pollard called “the distant and obscure theatre of the Trans-Mississippi.” But “distant...

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1. Has It Come So Soon As This? Secession and Confederate Statehood

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pp. 14-32

Throughout the presidential campaign of 1860, the dominant question across the Lower South was not whether to secede, should Abraham Lincoln be elected, but whether to wait for a concerted action among all of the cotton states. Opinion on this question generally divided along the...

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2. I Will Gladly Give My Life for a Victory: Kansas and Missouri, June–December 1861

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pp. 33-68

In the vain hope that Missouri might maintain its neutrality, moderates made a final effort to avert what seemed to be an inevitable civil war within the state by establishing a truce between the Unionist and secessionist elements. At a conference between Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson and Maj...

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3. The Wolf Is Come: War in the Indian Nation, 1861–1862

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pp. 69-81

In 1860, an estimated 100,000 citizens of the “Five Civilized Tribes” were living in Indian Territory. These tribes—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—had been forcibly relocated from the southeastern United States, and by this point each tribe was recognized as a nation...

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4. The Only Man in the Army That Was Whipped: The Pea Ridge Campaign, February 1862

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pp. 82-93

Following the battle of Wilson’s Creek, the Davis administration determined to separate the trans-Mississippi from Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston’s Department No. 2. The relationship between Brig. Gen. Ben McCulloch and Maj. Gen. Sterling Price had become increasingly volatile and unworkable...

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5. Charge ’em! Damn ’em, Charge, Charge, Charge! The Struggle for the Southwest, July 1861–July 1862

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pp. 94-115

Despite the region’s apparent poverty of resources and population, and despite Texas’s repeated failure to occupy the territory during the era of the Republic and early statehood, to the Davis administration, the Southwest seemed a golden apple, ripe for the plucking. To Lt. Col. John Robert...

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6. We Are Men and Braves: Indian Warfare in the Far West

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pp. 116-132

The Civil War did not stop, or even appreciably slow, American expansion into the Western territories. But with Federal forts abandoned as regular U.S. Army regiments transferred eastward, Native Americans found an opportunity to attempt to reclaim a part of their homeland. Although...

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7. No Feeling of Mercy or Kindness: The Prairie Grove Campaign, March 1862–January 1863

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pp. 133-158

After his defeat at Pea Ridge, Confederate general Earl Van Dorn and his Army of the West were ordered east of the Mississippi. They were to reinforce the Rebel army gathering at Corinth under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard to initiate a counteroffensive against...

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8. Hold Out Till Help Arrived or Until All Dead: The Capture of Arkansas Post, 9–11 January 1863

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pp. 159-167

Schofield’s withdrawal from northwest Arkansas, just when the Confederates were defeated and most vulnerable, did not relieve pressure on the beleaguered state. Almost simultaneously with what Samuel Curtis referred to as the “signal success” of Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt and Maj...

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9. Texas Must Take Her Chances: Coastal Defense and the Battle of Galveston, April 1861–January 1863

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pp. 168-182

According to brevet Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott’s “Anaconda Plan,” the Confederacy could be isolated and strangled into submission through a naval blockade of the Southern coast. Seal off the exportation of cotton and the importation of manufactured goods—including arms and...

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10. All New England Men and of the Best Material: The Federal Occupation of South Louisiana, April 1862–April 1863

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pp. 183-210

With the Federal occupation of New Orleans on 1 May 1862, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, in civilian life a wealthy Massachusetts textile mill owner and powerful politician, was appointed commander of the Department of the Gulf. In his attempt to bring Louisiana back into...

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11. Cannot You Do Something to Operate against Them on Your Side of the River! Milliken’s Bend and the Campaign for Vicksburg, Spring 1863

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pp. 211-230

Banks’s retreat from Alexandria to Berwick City devastated the country, “laying waste farms, breaking sugar kettles, destroying farming utensils, also furniture, beds, clothing, etc., stealing all the negroes and other transportable property and carrying it away with them,” reported Capt. Elijah...

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12. Courage and Desperation Rarely Equaled: The Rebel Assault on Helena, 4 July 1863

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pp. 231-248

“The ill consequences of Holmes’s incompetence to command a department,” wrote an increasingly bitter Thomas Snead, “now began to be seriously felt by the Confederacy.” As early as 30 July 1862, the Davis administration had expressed concern regarding the cooperation of...

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13. Much Unmerited Loss and Suffering: Quantrill’s Lawrence Raid and the War on the Missouri-Kansas Border, 21 August 1863

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pp. 249-257

Following the capture of Vicksburg, a considerable portion of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s army disbanded, and large numbers of those men returned to the upper Missouri River valley in the hope of living in peace in their former homes. Union brigadier general Thomas Ewing Jr., commander of...

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14. Drive Him Routed from Our Soil: The Little Rock Campaign, July–October 1863

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pp. 258-271

With the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson the trans-Mississippi Confederates were cut off from the central government in Richmond. As Maj. Gen. John G. Walker wrote, Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith “found himself in a condition of cruel isolation,” and as the insightful Confederate chief...

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15. More Remarkable than Thermopylae: Texas Coastal Defense and the Battle of Sabine Pass, January 1863–June 1865

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pp. 272-284

On 8 January 1863, a week after the Federal expulsion from Galveston, a new Union flotilla arrived from Pensacola and Mobile under Commodore Henry H. Bell, but within a week Rear Adm. David G. Farragut was appalled to report to the Navy Department “still another disaster off Galveston.” Capt...

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16. Our Troops Should Occupy and Hold at Least a Portion of Texas: Banks’s Overland Campaign, July–November 1863

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pp. 285-303

During the last week in June 1863, Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor was marching toward New Orleans, and gathering boats to operate against the city, but the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson reversed the strategic initiative in south Louisiana and allowed the Federals to resume the offensive...

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17. The Land of Coyotes, Tarantulas, Fandangos, Horn-Toads, and Jack-Rabbits: Banks’s Texas Campaign, October 1863–August 1864

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pp. 304-313

On arriving in Texas, Confederate major general John B. Magruder had reported to Adj. Gen. Samuel Cooper that he found “the line of the Rio Grande virtually abandoned, most of the guns having been moved from that frontier to San Antonio, only about 300 or 400 men remaining at...

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18. No Nobler Death: The Indian Territory, July 1863–February 1865

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pp. 314-337

In July 1863, Brig. Gen. William Steele, commander of the beleaguered Confederate District of the Indian Territory, was pinned on the Arkansas River, screening his depots and protecting the northern approaches to Texas. His Creek soldiers, whom he did not look upon “as being much...

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19. We Must Fight Them and Whip Them: Banks’s Drive toward Shreveport, November 1863–April 1864

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pp. 338-359

The Confederate victory at Chickamauga caused the Federal War Department to transfer many of its troops in Louisiana to Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga. “I guess the Feds are too busy in Tennessee to notice us much,” wrote Capt. Elijah Petty, so...

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20. I Am Going to Fight Banks If He Has a Million of Men! The Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, 8–9 April 1864

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pp. 360-380

“I am not sure whether the enemy’s whole force is in my front,” Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor wired departmental headquarters at 9:40 a.m. of 8 April, a day set apart by the president of the Confederate States for fasting, humiliation, and prayer. “If so, and he means to move on Shreveport, I consider...

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21. A Brisk and Brilliant Six Weeks’ Campaign: Steele’s Camden Expedition and Banks’s Retreat from Pleasant Hill, April and May 1864

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pp. 381-405

At 2:00 a.m. on 10 April, Pvt. Frank M. Flinn rather disingenuously reported, the Army of the Gulf “leisurely returned to Grand Ecore.” But Pvt. Julius L. Knapp recorded that the army marched until 3:00 p.m., when “the men, being perfectly worn out,” halted at Bayou Macon for the...

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22. Destroy Property and Recruit Men: Price’s Missouri Raid, August–November 1864

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pp. 406-420

The spring of 1864 had begun with great promise for Union arms, but by midsummer Grant’s strategy of moving against all portions of the Confederacy in a single coordinated campaign was appearing to be a disaster. Not only had Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and Maj. Gen. Frederick...

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23. Let Come What Will, We’ll Fight the Yankees Alone: Confederate Collapse in the Trans-Mississippi

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pp. 421-442

With the end of Price’s 1864 Missouri raid, the war in the trans-Mississippi came to a virtual halt. General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant saw Mobile as a more important strategic objective than remote Texas, and, although the Federals fortified and reinforced their garrisons at Little Rock and...

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Conclusion: A Sort of Botany Bay

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pp. 443-448

The Civil War was neither won nor lost west of the Mississippi River. The immense geographical extent of the region made military success and territorial conquest essentially illusory. The trans-Mississippi was at the end of a long and tenuous line of supply, with the armies in the East taking the...

Notes

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pp. 449-520

Bibliography

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pp. 521-564

Index

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pp. 565-588