Saturday, May 5, 2018

Book News: Palmito Ranch

The accepted name of this battle seems to be on a continuous loop, from Palmito Ranch to Palmetto Ranch and back again. In the current literature, the two standard works on the subject are Phillip Thomas Tucker's The Final Fury: Palmito Ranch - The Last Battle of the Civil War (2001) and The Last Battle of the Civil War: Palmetto Ranch (2002) by Jeffrey Hunt, with most preferring the latter study (I think).

Jody Edward Ginn and William Alexander McWhorter's Palmito Ranch: From Civil War Battlefield to National Historic Landmark (TAMU Press, September 2018) will have an added (perhaps primary) emphasis on site preservation and interpretation. In addition to offering "new information" about the battles, the book will "recount the initiative pursued by a multidisciplinary team organized largely through the efforts of the Texas Historical Commission to study, document, and preserve this important Texas historic site. Now, visitors to the area may benefit from not only improved and expanded historical markers, but also a radio transmitter and a viewing platform, along with other interpretive aids. All this is due to the campaign spearheaded by McWhorter, Ginn, and a cohort of dedicated volunteers and professionals."

More from the description: "Providing a case study in constituency building and public awareness raising to preserve and promote historic sites, Palmito Ranch will interest and educate heritage tourists, Civil War enthusiasts, and travelers to South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley."

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