Civil War in the Southwest

Recollections of the Sibley Brigade

978-1-58544-131-0 Cloth
6.125 x 9.25. 224 pp. 4 maps.
Pub Date: 08/01/2001
Available

2001 Gaspar Perez de Villagra Award, presented by the Historical Society of New Mexico
In 1861 and 1862, in the vast deserts and rugged mountains of the Southwest, eighteen hundred miles from Washington and Richmond, the Civil War raged in a struggle that could have decided the fate of the nation.

In the summer and fall of 1861, Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley raised a brigade of young and zealous Texans to invade New Mexico Territory as a step toward the conquest of Colorado and California and the creation of a Confederate empire in the Southwest. Of the Sibley Brigade's sixteen major battles during the war, their most excruciating experiences came during the ill-fated New Mexico Campaign.

Civil War in the Southwest tells the dramatic story of that campaign in the words of some of the actual participants. Noted Civil War scholar Jerry Thompson has edited and annotated eighteen episodes written by William Lott "Old Bill" Davidson and six other members of Sibley's Brigade that were originally published in a small East Texas newspaper, the Overton Sharp Shooter, in 1887-88.

Written "to set the record straight," these veterans' stories provide colorful accounts of the bloody battles of Valverde, Glorieta, and Peralta, as well as details of the soldiers' tragic and painful retreat back to Texas in the summer of 1862. With his extensive knowledge of Sibley's campaign, Thompson has provided context for the eyewitness accounts-and corrections where needed-to produce a campaign history that is intimate and passionate, yet accurate in the smallest detail.

History readers will find much to ponder in these unique first-person recollections of a campaign that, had it succeeded, would have radically altered the history of the Southern Confederacy and the United States.

Canseco-Keck History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press