Faded Glory
A Century of Forgotten Military Sites in Texas, Then and Now
Texas History - Travel Guide - Military History - Western History
6 x 9, 240 pp.
32 color, 24 b&w photos. 7 maps. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 09/24/2012
Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities
  flexbound
Price:        $29.95

978-1-60344-699-0
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Faded Glory

A Century of Forgotten Military Sites in Texas, Then and Now

Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley

Each of the wars fought by Texans spawned the creation of scores of military sites across the state, from the lonely frontier outpost at Adobe Walls to the once-bustling World War II shipyards of Orange. Today, although vestiges of the sites still exist, many are barely discernible, their once-proud martial trappings now faded by time, neglect, the elements and, most of all, public apathy. ?In Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley revisit twenty-nine sites—many of them largely forgotten—associated with what was arguably the most tumultuous hundred-year period in a five-century span of Texas history.?

Whether in the war with Mexico, the American Civil War, in clashes between Indians and the frontier army, or in two worldwide conflicts fought on foreign shores, Texas and Texans have often answered the call to arms. Beginning in 1845 and continuing through 1945, the Lone Star State and its people were fully involved in seven major conflicts. ?In this thoroughly researched and absorbing guide, Alexander and Utley recount the full story of the sites from their days of fame to the present. Comparing historic sketches, paintings, and period photographs of the original installations with recent photographs, they illustrate how time has dealt with these important places. Providing maps to aid readers in locating each site, the authors close with a resounding call for preservation and interpretation for future generations. ?The descriptions and images restore, at least in the mind’s eye, a touch of vitality and color to these forgotten and disappearing sites. Thanks to Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, both the traveler and the armchair tourist can recover a sense of these places and events that did so much to shape the military history of Texas.

THOMAS E. ALEXANDER, who served as an officer in the Strategic Air Command, is the author of four books on Texas military history. His work on Peyote Army Airfield was given the Rupert Richardson Award as the best book on West Texas History in 2006. A retired executive vice president with Neiman Marcus, he is currently serving his second six-year term on the Texas Historical Commission. Alexander lives in Kerrville, Texas. DAN K. UTLEY, chief historian of the Center for Public History at Texas State University and a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, is a retired chief historian for the Texas Historical Commission, a past chairman of the National Register State Board of Review for Texas, and the past president of the Texas Oral History Association and the East Texas Historical Association.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Tom Alexander and Dan Utley, two outstanding historians with a great wealth of information and knowledge on military history between them, have gotten together to make '1+1' into much more than '2.' Make it a full '10' for their thorough review of what remains from our militant history to teach present and future Texans."--Archie P. McDonald, Southern historian


"In Faded Glory authors Tom Alexander and Dan K. Utley have shared a seat in their car for a first-hand tour of military history across the Lone Star State. Starting with the U.S.-Mexican War and coming up through World War II, they have recounted the stories of both familiar and little-known scenes of military activities and then have given us easy-to-follow instructions on how we can visit and experience the sites for ourselves. This is the perfect book for the armchair historian or the eager heritage tourist." --T. Lindsay Baker, W.K. Gordon Endowed Chair in Texas Industrial History, Tarleton State University


"In this beautifully illustrated and well-crafted book, the military history of Texas comes alive and takes on new meaning. One can almost hear the thunder of cavalry horses and the clatter of dragoon sabers and Rancho de Carricitos on the Rio Grande, the deadly crack of Billy Dixon's rifle at Adobe Walls, or the fatiguing sighs of the ill-fated Sibley Brigade arriving at a windswept Fort Bliss. There is also the deafening pound of Lt. Dick Dowling's artillery at Sabine Pass, the debilitating and scorching heat in the desert at Camp Ruidoso in 1916, the hum of propellers as airplanes take flight at Marfa Army Airfield, or the whistle of a troop train in the night as Italian prisoners from North Africa arrive at Camp Hereford in the Panhandle. It is all here and it is all very exciting and very grand."--Jerry D. Thompson, Regents Professor of Humanities, Texas A&M International University


"It is obviously a labor of love . . . this book moves from being merely fun and informative to being truly an important effort to marshal support for historic preservation. This is a lively text, well-written by two fellows who are obviously good story-tellers."--Richard B. McCaslin, professor and chair of the history department, University of North Texas


"Faded Glory takes the general audience on an interesting and informative journey into the nooks and crannies of Texas history. The theme presents a representative sampling of 34 Texas military sites . . . that offer a window into key periods of Texas history from statehood and the Mexican War to the end of World War II."--Thomas T. Smith, retired US Army colonel and author of The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the US Army in Nineteenth-Century Texas and The US Army and the Texas Frontier Economy, 1845-1900


"...a beautifully illustrated book with a lively text..."--Jerry Turner, Mexia

"This guide to the sites recounts the story of each of them, from its days of fame to the present."--Marie Beth Jones, Facts

"...a fascinating 'gateway book' for anyone interested in the history, origin or fate of 29 old forts, airfields and other military installations in Texas that have been largely ignored...it is packed with history, photographs, maps, illustrations and facts galore. Yet, it is also easy to read for the average person."--Irene Van Winkle, West Kerr Current

"Alexander and Utley not only help bring them back to public attention but also argue eloquently for historical preservation of these places that once played significant roles in the life of the state."--Glen Dromgoole, The Eagle

"Travel, architectural engineering, historical restoration, personal ancestry, military history, and Texana are all blended together in a unique book...not very often do I advocate splurging on the actual book over the less-expensive Kindle version, but this is a rare exception. The photos aligned with the photo-history make this a mighty fine conversation-starter for any Texan coffee crate...For you home-schooling parents...Faded Glory is an awesome supplement to the educational process."--Not Too Late Show

“For those interested in military history and heritage tourism, Faded Glory provides interesting and easily digestible background stories of a diverse set of historic military sites. In addition to locales significant to the Mexican-American War and World War II, the book also covers sites from the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I.

In some cases, the sites provide rich tourism opportunities. For example, the commanding officer’s home at Fort Clark—where the Army’s last cavalry unit trained before deployment to Europe in the early 1940s—looks much as it did when it was built in 1857. In other cases, the remnants of the sites are long gone, and therefore the authors’ historical synopses help bring their relevance to life. For example, the site where General Zachary Taylor camped in 1845 on Corpus Christi beach with about 4,000 American troops is completely covered by a seawall and modern development. “Then-and-now” images help illustrate the effects of time.”—Matt Joyce, Postcards


“ . . . informative, and the material is presented in a manner the non-historian will easily comprehend, and the professional historian will appreciate. . . . To many readers Faded Glory will be simply a gem of a book to sit back and read for general information as well as enjoying the numerous illustrations (on every page) and maps. To others the work will inspire the reader, such as many East Texas Historical Association members, to check their calendar to determine when to go and visit these sites in person. Whether as an ‘armchair historian,’ content to read about events, or one who feels compelled to walk on the ground where history happened, this is a required book.”—East Texas Historical Journal

"In their new book... Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley bring to light more than two dozen stories that tell not only important aspects of sites associated Texas' military past, but also view them in context of historic preservation. [The authors] are uniquely qualified to accomplish this task.
Alexander and Utley present a lively narrative that both informs and entertains the reader with accounts not only of places, but also of personalities... and events important to the story of Texas' military past...
This book provides an excellent first step in [the process of preservation of historic military sites] by bringing to light an important collection of sites that deserve continued preservation and interpretation. [The authors alos] offer an eloquent call to action...
'Viewed as a whole, [the heritage of Texas' military sites] forms a tapestry that is too rich in color and too vibrant in reflected glory to ever be allowed to fade completely into darkness.' Fortunately, with this book, light continues to shine on that tapestry." --Cynthia J. Beeman

"This is just the kind of book that I like to add to my personal reading list... The texts read smoothly and are designed for lay readers who come without particular knowledge of military history. I found the stories to be engaging...
Alexander and... Utley have done all of us a good turn through their investigations of lesser-known historic places from the Texas military past. Faded Glory... is recommended reading for anyone interested in learning more about the locations where events in Texas military history took place." --T. Lindsay Baker, Tarleton StateUniversity

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