In Why Texans Fought in the Civil War, Charles David Grear provides insights into what motivated Texans to fight for the Confederacy. Mining important primary sources—including thousands of letters and unpublished journals—he affords readers the opportunity to hear, often in the combatants’ own words, why it was so important to them to engage in tumultuous struggles occurring so far from home.
As Grear notes, in the decade prior to the Civil War the population of Texas had tripled. The state was increasingly populated by immigrants from all parts of the South and foreign countries. When the war began, it was not just Texas that many of these soldiers enlisted to protect, but also their native states, where they had family ties.
What Readers Are Saying:
"Charles Grear's Why Texans Fought in the Civil War is a welcome addition to the military and social history of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi. Thoroughly researched, well documented, and engagingly written, this volume is a must for the scholar and Civil War enthusiast alike."--Gary D. Joiner, assistant professor of history, Louisiana State University, Shreveport
"Charles David Grear, one of the rising talents in Civil War and Texas scholarship, has asked—and answered—one of the salient questions of the war. Why did men from the far western reaches of the Confederacy put their lives on hold, set their futures aside, and push headlong into a conflict they might have been able to avoid? The answers in this excellent book are sure to provoke debate and discussion for years to come. . . an excellent and fascinating look at what motivates men to go to war."--Donald S. Frazier, professor of history, McMurray University
"Grear's study is a valuable contribution to Civil War history. Not only does he examine the military aspect of the Lone Star State, a worthy notion in itself, but his study delves into the realm of the social history of Texas and the South as it explores the diverse makeup of Texans while touching on the themes of ethnic and immigration history to support his interpretations. The author grounds his study on a rich array of archival accounts, newspapers, and published works in addition to a long list of secondary studies. No other study of Civil War Texas has provided such a comprehensive list of manuscript sources and archives. Accordingly, Grear's book will serve as the standard work on Texas Civil War soldiers; yet Civil War scholars beyond the Lone Star State can also benefit from this study and its arguments."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Grear argues that geography, more than anything, swayed the decisions that white Texans made about whether (and where) to fight for the Confederacy. His logic is simple yet compelling. Still, the central premise of Grear's work rings true: understanding how white Texans chose between their competing attachments to Texas and other Confederate states sheds light on their decisions and behavior during the war."--Journal of Southern History