The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Book Reviews

tion of post-Civil War political intrigue along the far-western
border of Texas, the eternal struggle that characterizes the com-
mon human tendencies toward avarice and quest for personal
power, and that peculiar border phenomenon which, for want of
a more exact label, is usually defined as racial conflict. Particular-
ly striking is Sonnichsen's deft etching of character, which is
pointedly demonstrated in the writer's portraits of Charles W.
Howard, Louis Cardis, and especially Father Antonio Borrajo,
the sometimes enigmatic pastor of San Elizario.
Subtly capturing the spirit of the times and reflecting the flow
of the narrative, the general design is in the tradition of excel-
lence established by Carl Hertzog. Set in Caledonia, the text is
not only attractive but, even more important, extremely easy to
read. Stylistic identification of the period is imaginatively set in
the use of Trocadero type in the chapter numerals, while the
Legenda chapter titles provide an ingenious contrast.
The illustrations created by Jos6 Cisneros are of uniformly
high quality and appear to the reviewer to be historically accu-
rate in detail as well as excellent in artistic execution. Particu-
larly good is the sketch that introduces Chapter II.
In brief, The El Paso Salt War [z877] is a small gem of Texana
that is obviously calculated to bring a glow of satisfaction to col-
lectors of fine Texas books for a long time to come.
University of Texas Archives
Dick Dowling at Sabine Pass. By Frank X. Tolbert. New York
(McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.), 1962. Pp. 159. $3.95-
On September 8, 1863, Lieutenant Dick Dowling and a small
company of Irish-Texan cannoneers at Sabine Pass defeated a
combined effort by the Union army and navy to invade Texas.
The success of the artillerymen was one of the major Confederate
victories which kept Texas from becoming a combat zone or an
occupied region during the American Civil War. Because of the
disparity between the opposing forces in favor of the Federals,
the battle has since taken on legendary proportions for most
Frank Tolbert's account of the action at Sabine Pass may be
divided into three general parts. Three opening chapters provide


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 1, 2015.