Confederate General of the West
Henry Hopkins Sibley
Military History - Civil War
5.5 x 8.5, 424 pp.
14 b&w photos., 13 line drawings., 7 maps.
Pub Date: 02/01/1996
  paper
Price:        $16.95

978-0-89096-705-8

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Confederate General of the West

Henry Hopkins Sibley

By Jerry Thompson
Foreword by Frank E. Vandiver
Illustrations by Leonel Garza Jr.

Had Henry Hopkins Sibley and his Confederate army troops succeeded in capturing New Mexico from the Federals, author Jerry Thompson argues, "the entire history of the Southern Confederacy might have been radically altered." In Confederate General of the West, Thompson portrays the life and career of a soldier whose character flaws and leadership weaknesses stood in stark contrast to his sometime military successes and mechanical ingenuity. A veteran of the Mexican-American War, Sibley served in Texas from 1850 to 1855, moving west with his regiment to Kansas and then joining the 1857 Utah Expedition. By the end of 1859 he had moved on to the New Mexico Territory. When the Civil War broke out, Jefferson Davis appointed him to lead an expeditionary force from Texas to seize New Mexico, Colorado, and California. He won a controversial Confederate victory at the Battle of Valverde in 1862—controversial because of his own disreputable performance. In the spring of that year, after defeat at Glorieta Pass, he retreated in disgrace from New Mexico into west Texas and later faced court-martial for his inadequate and often drunken leadership. A later mercenary stint in the Egyptian army also ended for similar reasons. Civil War scholars, students, and enthusiasts will welcome this new paperback edition.

Jerry Thompson is Dean of Arts and Humanities at Texas A&M International University in Laredo.

What Readers Are Saying:

"I strongly recommend Thompson's highly readable biography. It furnishes valuable views on New Mexico in the middle 19th century."--Marc Simmons

"I strongly recommend Thompson's highly readable biography. It furnishes valuable views on New Mexico in the middle 19th century." --Marc Simmons

". . . an excellent biography. . ." --Mike Cox

“. . . This book is definitely worth owning for those who value material on the Old West as well as the War for Southern Independence.” --Books of the Southwest

“. . . meticulously researched and eminently fair-minded . . .” --The Journal of Arizona History

“. . . Civil War enthusiasts will be delighted with this paperback edition of Thompson’s biography of Henry Hopkins Sibley, . . . Since half of the book relates to Sibley’s experiences with the frontier army, the work will be of interest to western historians as well as Civil War readers. . . .” --East Texas Historical Journal

“. . . Thompson presents to the reader a thorough and well-researched biography . . . This is one book that deserves a place in the library of any enthusiast of the Civil War and the American West.” --Denver Westerners Roundup

“The author portrays the life and career of a General Sibley, a soldier whose character flaws and leadership weaknesses stood in stark contrast to his sometime military successes and mechanical ingenuity. . . . Perhaps the greatest value of the book is the extent to which it illustrates the impact of frontier isolation . . . on the contentious behavior of the army's officer corps during the antebellum period." --Utah Historical Quarterly

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