West Texas History

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Enjoy multiple great titles highlighting Texas history when you purchase this book bundle.
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Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

Original Price
23.99
ISBN
9780876112618
Binding
Paperback
By
W. D. Smithers
[...]

Red Water, Black Gold: The Canadian River in Western Texas, 1920–1999

Original Price
19.99
ISBN
9781625110022
Binding
Paperback
By
Margaret A. Bickers
Red Water, Black Gold: The Canadian River in Texas 1920–1999 tells the story of the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle. It is a tale of grand designs, high hopes, deep holes, politics, fishing, follies, foibles, and environmental change. Although efforts had been made to tap the Canadian River’s waters before 1920, the discovery of oil in the Panhandle gave new urgency to the search for permanent water supplies. Additionally, the spread of groundwater irrigation amid the discovery of the limits of Ogallala Aquifer spurred regional interests to tap the Canadian. But overestimates of the river’s flow and unfamiliarity with the critical role groundwater played in maintaining that flow led to complications and frustrations, culminating in a lawsuit over the location of the banks of a seemingly waterless river. This book is a valuable addition to the water history of Texas and the American West and to the growing body of worldwide regional water histories. Combining traditional historical sources with hydrology, climatology, and geology, Red Water, Black Gold complicates the traditional story of top-down water management as well as telling the thus-far untold story of the Canadian River in Texas.
[...]

El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536–1860

Original Price
15.99
ISBN
9780876111956
Binding
Paperback
By
John Miller Morris
El Llano Estacado, a major new work of Western History, reveals the historical heart of one of the world’s unique regions—the enormous mesaland of the Southern High Plains in Texas and New Mexico. From the Canadian River in the north to the Edwards Plateau in the south, from the Pecos River in the west to the fantastic canyonlands of the Red, Pease, Brazos, and Colorado Rivers in the east, the 50,000 square miles of “the Llano” are chronicled over three centuries with an eye to the history and compelling mystery of this special land. Armchair detectives will especially relish the comprehensive discussion of the lost—now possibly rediscovered—Coronado expedition route across the plains.This story of the legendary Llano Estacado from 1536 to 1860 informs our understanding of discovery and geography in the Southwest. El Llano Estacado is more than a good read; it is also a native son’s meditation on the role of imagination and myth in how we perceive this unique environment. From the dawn of historic contact with the Southern High Plains, a remarkable series of Spanish, French, Mexican, and Anglo-American explorers and adventurers attempted to make sense of its curious environment.“Lo Llano,” the first part of this saga, is a detective story on the Lost Coronado Trail. The key to this ancient Southwest mystery—where did the Spanish go in Texas in 1541?—is understanding what they saw and how they remembered it in their writings. Part Two, “The Llano Frontier,” studies the three centuries of Spanish exploration and imagination following Coronado. “The Illimitable Prairie,” part three of the study, analyzes the romantic discovery of the Llano in the Anglo imagination. In the final part, “The Great Zahara,” the author rides the trail of the classic Anglo explorers of the Llano: James W. Abert, Randolph Marcy, John Pope, and others. The visual representations of the Llano are also revealed through numerous illustrations of rare maps and lithographs.El Llano Estacado is a grand history and geography told in an imaginative, interdisciplinary style befitting a high land. The mysteries and mirages of this great Southwestern landscape are the stuff of adventurers’ quests and now readers’ dreams.
[...]

The Reminiscences of Major General Zenas R. Bliss, 1854-1876: From the Texas Frontier to the Civil War and Back Again

Original Price
25.99
ISBN
9780876112267
Binding
Hardcover
By
Ben E. Pingenot, Jerry Thompson, Robert Wooster, Thomas Smith
The "Reminiscences" of Maj. Gen. Zenas R. Bliss are a remarkably detailed account of his army service in Texas before and after the Civil War. Many scholars consider Bliss's recollections to be one of the best from a soldier of the "Old Army." It has become a staple primary resource for Texas frontier research for the last three decades.

Bliss's memoirs serve as a rare and important window into Texas' military, political, cultural, and geographical history. The memoirs cover Bliss's graduation at West Point in 1854, his antebellum service at Fort Duncan, Camp Hudson, and Fort Davis, as well as his return to the Texas frontier in 1870, and end with his duties at Fort Davis in 1876. Details also describe his capture by Texas Confederate forces in 1861, his tribulations as a prisoner of war, and his subsequent Civil War experiences as a Union regimental commander at Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, and Petersburg, where he was at the battle of the Crater. For gallantry at Fredericksburg, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

While commanding buffalo soldiers at Fort Duncan in 1870, Bliss conceived the idea of enlisting Seminole-Negro Indians from Mexico as army scouts. After successfully lobbying the departmental commander and the War Department for approval, Bliss formed the first band of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts in August of 1870. The unit served the army with extraordinary devotion and distinction until 1912.

Bliss served in Texas longer than any other army officer (twenty-three years) and rose in rank from second lieutenant to departmental commander. Possessing a keen sense of humor, an eye for detail, and a boisterous social nature, his lively account of the people and places of the antebellum and post-Civil War Texas frontier is among the very best of Texas history.
[...]

Fort Davis: Outpost on the Texas Frontier

Original Price
6.99
ISBN
9780876111390
Binding
Paperback
By
Robert Wooster
This engaging, illustrated history of Fort Davis, one of the U.S. Army's most important western posts, relates the exciting history of Trans-Pecos Texas—the far western reaches off the state. Wooster traces the history of this Davis Mountains region from the days when Indians and later Spaniards and Mexicans inhabited the area, through its days as the site of Texan and American interests. The establishment and construction of Fort Davis in the mid-1850s tells the story of one of the army's largest western posts. We learn about the famous army camels which Secretary of War Jefferson Davis brought to the area, with Fort Davis serving as a base of operations, and about the difficult conditions imposed on the army by weather, climate, and Indians, Evacuated by the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Davis later was occupied by Texas state troops, then briefly reoccupied by the Federals. After the war, the War Department began shifting regular army units back to the western frontiers. Among these units were each of the famous black regiments, many of them composed of former slaves who proved to be excellent soldiers. The details of daily life—food, clothing, social activities, weapons, medical care—are thoroughly discussed, as are the often ineffective campaigns against Indians.

Robert Wooster skillfully uses the forty-year history of Fort Davis to provide a clear window into the frontier military experience and into nineteenth-century American society. Because of its black soldiers, and its large Mexican-American civilian community, Fort Davis is a prime resource for studying and understanding the stratified racial relations which accompanied the army's and the nation's westward expansion.
[...]

Fort Concho: A History and a Guide

Original Price
6.99
ISBN
9780876112052
Binding
Paperback
By
James T. Matthews
In the fall of 1867 the United States Army established a permanent camp on the plateau where the North and Middle Concho rivers join. For centuries, this high open plateau had remained barren except for passing expeditions or Native American hunting parties. The establishment of Fort Concho provided a vital link in the line of frontier defense and led to the development of the town of San Angelo across the North Concho River from the military post.

In more than twenty years of federal service, Fort Concho was home to companies of fifteen regiments in the regular United States Army, including Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's Fourth Cavalry and Col. Benjamin Grierson's Tenth Cavalry of buffalo soldiers. The post provided a focal point for major campaigns against the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches. Patrols from Fort Concho charted vast areas of western Texas and provided a climate for settlement on the Texas frontier. Today Fort Concho stands restored, thanks to numerous preservation efforts, as a memorial to all the peoples who struggled to survive on the plateau where the rivers join.

Fort Concho: A History and a Guide by James T. Matthews has been hailed by Fort Concho director Bob Bluthardt as "the first book on the history of the fort in fifty years." Fort Concho is another title in the Texas State Historical Association's Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series, which publishes short books about important historical sites or events in Texas history.

Number Eighteen: Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series

[...]

Fort Lancaster: Texas Frontier Sentinel

Original Price
6.99
ISBN
9780876111734
Binding
Paperback
By
Lawrence J. Francell
Today Fort Lancaster sits as a ghostly ruin in west Texas, far removed from any major highway. However, this frontier post once played a major role in the protection of the primary southern route to California after the discovery of gold. Built along Live Oak Creek near the junction with the Pecos, Fort Lancaster was established in 1855 as one of a chain of posts along the Military Road from San Antonio to El Paso. Until the establishment of Fort Stockton by troops from Fort Lancaster, this was the only garrison between Fort Clark and Fort Davis.

Manned by only one of two companies of the First Infantry, Fort Lancaster was one of the most isolated posts in Texas. The only civilian presence was a sutler and a stage stop for the overland mail. Maintaining the post, patrolling and protecting the road and occasional contact with Indians made up most of the routine. Official inspections, the arrival of the camel expedition, the passage of the Regiment of Mounted Rifles, and several pitched fights with Apaches added spice to an otherwise predictable existence.

The history of Fort Lancaster is not one of great men or great events. It is the story of the commonplace life of soldiers on the isolated American frontier during a time when communications relied upon horse and wagon, and the road they guarded was the vital link to California. Remote, poorly constructed, and inadequately garrisoned, Fort Lancaster stands as an excellent example of the typical frontier post in the pre-Civil War era.

Today Fort Lancaster is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife as a State Historic Park. As isolated today as it was when active, the atmospheric ruins of Fort Lancaster are a stark reminder of Army life on the Texas frontier.
[...]

On the Border with Mackenzie; or, Winning West Texas from the Comanches

Original Price
19.99
ISBN
9780876112465
Binding
Paperback
By
Robert G. Carter
[...]

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