Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Booknotes: The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846-1876

New Arrival:
The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846-1876 edited by Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller, and Russell K. Skowronek (TAMU Press, 2019).

The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846-1876 is the scholarly companion to Blue and Gray on the Border: The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail. In it editors Bacha-Garza, Miller, and Skowronek oversee a collection of essays that take a deeper look at themes first explored in the earlier trail guide. The anthology "provides the scholarly backbone to a larger public history project exploring three decades of ethnic conflict, shifting international alliances, and competing economic proxies at the border."

More from the description: "To understand the American Civil War in Texas also requires an understanding of the history of Mexico. The Civil War on the Rio Grande focuses on the region’s forced annexation from Mexico in 1848 through the Civil War and Reconstruction. In a very real sense, the Lower Rio Grande Valley was a microcosm not only of the United States but also of increasing globalization as revealed by the intersections of races, cultures, economic forces, historical dynamics, and individual destinies."

Among other topics, essays examine what life was like on the border during the Civil War, mixed-race colonies along the Rio Grande, the wartime cotton trade, the rivalry between Juan Cortina and Santos Benavides, the archaeology of Palmito Ranch, and the black military experience on the Texas-Mexico border (particularly during the first few years of Reconstruction).

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