Monday, December 12, 2016

Tejano Tiger

Back in 2011, The Texas Biography Series from TCU Press published the award-winning Fighting Stock: John S. "Rip" Ford of Texas by Richard McCaslin. It's a fine account of the life and Civil War military career of the well-known Confederate officer. The series will soon be revisiting the Civil War era with Jerry Thompson's Tejano Tiger: Jose de los Santos Benavides and the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1823-1891 (March 2017). Thompson spent much of his professional career researching and writing about the antebellum and Civil War years along the South Texas border with Mexico, and is arguably the preeminent scholar of the Hispanic Civil War military experience. Thus, he's more than well suited to provide us with a much needed Benavides biography. According to the book description, Benavides owed much of his future public prominence to his uncle, Basilio Benavides, who was a Texas mayor, judge, and state lawmaker. "It was under the Confederacy in the disputed Texas-Mexico borderlands that Santos Benavides reached the pinnacle of his military career as the highest-ranking Tejano in the entire Confederate army. In the decades that followed the Civil War, he became an esteemed political leader, highly respected on both sides of the border. This is the first scholarly study of this important historical figure."

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