Helen Dupuy, a French-speaking teenager living at the Sleepy Hollow Plantation on Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana, noted with horror the coming invaders. “ The first Yankee gunboats passed Donaldsville May 4 at 11 A.M.,” she wrote in her diary. Her home lay just a few miles from the Mississippi River, and word quickly arrived that Union sailors were confiscating sugar, cotton, and other contraband of war. The realities of her new situation soon became apparent—and ominous: “Then began the most awful pillaging.”
Award-winning author Donald S. Frazier returns to the field of Civil War history with keen turn of phrase and enthralling story-telling with the release of Fire in the Cane Field: The Invasion of Louisiana and Texas, January 1861–January 1863. Beginning with the spasms of secession in the Pelican State, Frazier weaves a stirring tale of bravado, reaction, and war as he describes the consequences of disunion for the hapless citizens of Louisiana. The army and navy campaigns he portrays weave a tale of the Federal Government’s determination to suppress the newborn Confederacy—and nearly succeeding—by putting ever-increasing pressure on its adherents from New Orleans to Galveston. The surprising triumph of Texas troops on their home soil in early 1863 proved to be a decisive reverse to Union ambitions and doomed the region to even bloodier destruction to come.
This bracing new work, ten years in the making, will usher in a chronological string of four books on the Civil War in Louisiana and Texas, as Frazier presents fresh sources on new topics in a series of captivating narratives.
Titles to follow in his innovative Louisiana quadrille include Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February–May 1863; Blood on the Bayou: The Campaigns of Tom Green’s Texans, June 1863–February 1864; and Death at the Landing: The Contest for the Red River and the Collapse of Confederate Louisiana, March 1864–June 1865.
Donald S. Frazier is Professor of History at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. He is the award-winning author of three books on the Civil War, including Blood and Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest; Cottonclads! The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast; and Fire in the Cane Field: The Federal Invasion of Louisiana and Texas, January 1861-January 1863. His other work includes serving as co-author of Frontier Texas, Historic Abilene, The Texas You Expect, Abilene Landmarks, as well as general editor of The United States and Mexico at War.In addition to his teaching duties, Frazier has been very involved in a variety of heritage and cultural tourism projects, including consulting on the development of three museums, two research centers, a Mexican War battlefield, work on Civil War and frontier heritage trails in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana, and work on historical projects in Europe and Mexico. He is the writer and director for the video Our Home, Our Rights: Texas and Texans in the Civil War, a winner of the Mitchell Wilder Award for Excellence in Publications and Media Design from the Texas Association of Museums. Frazier has also been recognized for his work by the Texas Association for Convention and Visitors Bureaus, the Independent Publishers, the Texas Historical Foundation, the Civil War Round Table of Dallas, the Philosophical Society of Texas, Booklist, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table, the American Association for State and Local History, the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the Louisiana Historical Association.Frazier lives in Abilene, Texas, with his wife Susan and his daughters, Kay and Sarah.