Blood & Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest (Texas a&M University Military History Series)

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9780890966396: Blood & Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest (Texas a&M University Military History Series)

For decades before the Civil War, Southern writers and warriors had been urging the occupation and development of the American Southwest. When the rift between North and South had been finalized in secession, the Confederacy moved to extend their traditions to the west–a long-sought goal that had been frustrated by northern states. It was a common sentiment among Southerners and especially Texans that Mexico must be rescued from indolent inhabitants and granted the benefits of American civilization.

Blood and Treasure, written in a readable narrative style that belies the rigorous research behind it, tells the story of the Confederacy's ambitious plan to extend a Confederate empire across the continent. Led by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor, later a governor of Arizona, and General H. H. Sibley, Texan soldiers trekked from San Antonio to Fort Bliss in El Paso, then north along the Rio Grande to Santa Fe. Fighting both Apaches and Federal troops, the half-trained, undisciplined army met success at the Battle of Val Verde and defeat at the Battle of Apache Canyon. Finally, the Texans won the Battle of Glorieta Pass, only to lose their supply train--and eventually the campaign. Pursued and dispirited, the Confederates abandoned their dream of empire and retreated to El Paso and San Antonio.

Frazier has made use of previously untapped primary sources, allowing him to present new interpretations of the famous Civil War battles in the Southwest. Using narratives of veterans of the campaign and official Confederate and Union documents, the author explains how this seemingly far-fetched fantasy of building a Confederate empire was an essential part of the Confederate strategy. Military historians will be challenged to modify traditional views of Confederate imperial ambitions. Generalists will be drawn into the fascinating saga of the soldiers' fears, despair, and struggles to survive.

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From the Back Cover:

Blood and Treasure tells the fascinating story of the Confederacy's ambitious plan to conquer the Southwestern territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Led by Lieutenant Colonel, and later Arizona governor, John R. Baylor and General H. H. Sibley, Texan soldiers trekked from San Antonio to Fort Bliss in El Paso, then northward up the Rio Grande, to Santa Fe. Fighting both Apaches and Federal troops, the half-trained, undisciplined army met success at the Battle of Val Verde and defeat at the Battle of Apache Canyon. Finally, the Texans won the Battle of Glorieta Pass, only to lose their supply train - and eventually the campaign. Pursued and demoralized, the Confederates abandoned their dream of empire and began a dispirited journey back to El Paso and San Antonio. Using narratives of veterans of the campaign and official Confederate and Union documents, the author explains how this seemingly far-fetched fantasy of building a Confederate empire was an essential part of the Confederate strategy. Military historians will be challenged to modify traditional views of Confederate imperial ambitions. Generalists will be drawn into the fascinating saga of the soldiers' fears, despair, and struggles to survive.

About the Author:

DONALD S. FRAZIER is assistant professor of history at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and author of numerous articles on Texas, Civil War, and borderlands history. His cartographic work has been published in many books on Southern history."Frazier's thoroughly researched study provides the best account to date of Confederate attempts to conquer and govern the American Southwest during the Civil War. He shows that this theater, ignored in many of the standard accounts of the Civil War, had far more significance than the relatively small number of soldiers engaged in its campaigns would indicate. Frazier demonstrates that Confederate western initiatives, which included Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, California, and northern Mexico, derived from prewar Texan and Southern slavery expansion. His conclusion that Jefferson Davis might have provided the Confederacy with its best chance for independence had he committed more resources to the West, will fuel the debate over Davis's strategic competency.

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Frazier, Donald S.
Published by Texas a & M Univ Pr (1995)
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