Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Fallen Guidon: the Forgotten Saga of General Jo Shelby's Con-
federate Command, the Brigade That Never Surrendered,
and Its Expedition to Mexico. By Edwin Adams Davis.
Santa Fe (Stagecoach Press), 1962. Pp. xiii+ 174. Illustra-
In Fallen Guidon, Edwin Adams Davis has told in pleasing
style the story of the adventures of General Joseph Shelby and his
brigade during their expedition into Mexico in 1865. General
Shelby and his Confederate command did not surrender at the
conclusion of the Civil War but instead advanced into Mexico
to offer their strength to Maximilian, the Hapsburg ruler who
the year before had accepted the throne extended by France.
The road to Mexico City proved to be an exciting one marked
by battles with native bandits, resistance from the French troops
at San Luis Potosi, a duel among themselves, and a victorious
encounter with the supporters of Juarez at Matehuala. The Con-
federate command even rescued an American woman who had
At Mexico City, Shelby was optimistic in his proposals to
Maximilian and offered to recruit an army of forty thousand men
from ex-Confederates and Northerners. This army would serve
Maximilian as a bulwark should the French troops who were
then sustaining him be withdrawn. Shelby also told the Emperor
that he had about a thousand men under his own command who
were willing to enlist.
Maximilian, however, would not accept Shelby's offer of troops.
The puppet ruler felt instead that the Mexican people would
completely accept him eventually, and that the United States
would recognize his government. With the Emperor's refusal,
Shelby dissolved his command.
Davis has, as he admits, drawn generously from Major John N.
Edwards' account of the expedition entitled Shelby's Expedition
to Mexico, An Unwritten Leaf of the War, first published in 1872
and reprinted by Edwards' wife in 1889. Extensive use of many
sources is evident.
The book is handsomely printed and carries contemporary illus-
trations of interest. W. C. NUNN
Texas Christian University
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed July 1, 2015.