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Chapter 10: Red and White Fighting the Blue: Relations between Texans and Confederate Indians by Charles D. Grear

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 10

Red and White Fighting the Blue: Relations between Texans and Confederate Indians

by Charles D. Grear

Civil War historians have traditionally focused on battles in the Eastern and Trans-Appalachian theaters of the war, leaving the impression that the war was fought by white men in blue and gray uniforms. Primarily, this assumption is true; white men did make up the bulk of both the Union and Confederate armies. However, in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the war, the organization of armies was more complex. In the Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma, raids and battles raged between Northern and Southern soldiers with their American Indian counterparts, Pins (Union) and Half-bloods (Confederate), and African Americans. During 1864, the Fifth Texas Cavalry Brigade, better known as Gano’s Brigade, a motley group of Confederate Texans led by Brig. Gen. Richard Montgomery Gano, fought side by side with the Indian brigade led by Cherokee Chief Brig. Gen. Stand Watie in the Indian Territory. This chapter examines the relationship between the white and Indian soldiers, particularly the Cherokee, and provides a much-needed study into the role of race relationships in the Trans-Mississippi during the Civil War. Specific aspects include how they interacted, how well they fought as a division, and their reaction to fighting black Union soldiers.1

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Part 3

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574414493

Chapter 2

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press PDF

CHAPTER 2

“Shoot or Get Out of the Way!”: The Murder of Texas Freedmen’s Bureau Agent William G.

Kirkman by Cullen Baker—and the Historians by

William L. Richter

D

eep in the northeast corner of Texas dominated by the misty swamps that form the Sulphur River lies Bowie County, named after the famous knife-wielding frontiersman who died at the Alamo. Created in 1841, Bowie County had a pre-Civil War white population dominated by planters who emigrated from the Deep South. Steeped in the slavery system of antebellum Dixie, these whites voted overwhelmingly (96 percent) to secede twenty years later. As if to taunt the whites for their miscalculation in supporting the Lost Cause, newly freed slaves made up a majority (64 percent) of the citizens of Bowie County in 1865 and registered voters (55 percent) in 1867. Even the name of the county seat, Boston, has a strange Yankee-like ring that continues to mock its rich southern heritage. Nowadays some do claim that the town was actually named after the New England metropolis by its first settlers, the Burnam brothers. Other more-unreconstructed souls insist just as vehemently that it received its seemingly-out-of-place appellation from the surname of an early store owner.1

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Part One

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Chapter 6: Reckoning at the River: Unionists and Secessionists on the Nueces, August 10, 1862 by Mary Jo O’Rear

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 6

Reckoning at the River: Unionists and Secessionists on the Nueces, August 10, 1862

by Mary Jo O’Rear

The sun beat heavily on the shoulders of the Confederate cavalrymen, causing fresh sweat to soak their already sodden shirts as they rode down grassy hills and crossed rock-encrusted streambeds in the German Hill Country of Texas. In early August 1862, Confederate military leaders had dispatched Lt. Colin D. McRae to command this unit, which included among its members James Duff’s Partisan Rangers.

Prior to this mission, Duff’s men had been camped on the Pedernales River, resting in the shade of live oak trees along its banks and harvesting fish from its slow-moving current. Outside of a few scouting patrols into the hills and the occasional remand of prisoners to Fredericksburg or San Antonio, the men had been enjoying a well-earned break from their normal duties.1

Following the secession of Texas and the removal of Federal troops from the state in February 1861, the borderlands had become vulnerable. Comanche warriors had attacked ranches along the Frio River, slaughtered cattle by the Medina River, and killed homesteaders living along the entire frontier region. The government responded by hastily ordering out ranging companies, but these small forces proved ineffective against such adversaries. It was not until late December that the legislature passed a bill for frontier cavalry, allowing Texans who supported the Confederacy the opportunity to embrace military service close to home.2

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