The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Book Reviews

Smith County, Texas, in the Civil War. By Vicki Betts. (Tyler: Jack T.
Greer Memorial Fund of the Smith County Historical Society,
1978. Pp. xi+ io6. Preface, foreword, illustrations, bibliography,
index. $ o.)
Texas in the Confederacy: Military Installations, Economy and People.
By Bill Winsor. (Hillsboro: Hill Junior College Press, 1978. Pp.
xiv+ 154. Preface, introduction, maps, charts, illustrations, ap-
pendices, bibliography, index. $12.50.)
The Confederate Army of New Mexico. By Martin Hardwick Hall.
(Austin: Presidial Press, 1978. Pp. viii+422. Preface, maps, illustra-
tions, glossary, bibliography, index. $17.50.)
Hood's Texas Brigade: A Compendium. By Colonel Harold B. Simp-
son. (Hillsboro: Hill Junior College Press, 1977. Pp. xii+614.
Preface, illustrations, bibliography, index. $12.50.)
It is always pleasing to note the slow but continuous flow of publica-
tions concerning the role of the Southwest in the Civil War. It is par-
ticularly gratifying to see that three out of the four books examined
here (the Smith County volume excepted) could serve as research sources
to aid scholarly work in this area.
Most county histories are necessarily narrow in scope. When their
focus is cut down to the Civil War period, the area of investigation be-
comes almost microscopic. This is certainly true of Smith County,
Texas, in the Civil War. Most pages of the very slim book are filled with
trivial facts that would be of interest only to a person with ties to, and
a knowledge of, that particular county. I hasten to emphasize the words
"most pages," because one chapter on civilian activities in the war (it is
called "... a good place to soldier at ...") has information that should
be considered by anyone with a concern about the Southwest at that
time. About a dozen pages delve into such matters as: substitute soldier
costs, a lack of firearms and ammunition after 1862, money and salt scar-
cities, the role of the slaves, and a number of similar topics. Mercifully,
the author spares us the pain of being subjected to the familiar sketches
of prominent county citizens. Unfortunately, the Smith County book is
horribly over-footnoted. There is a footnote for about every second line
of text, and many of these notes are used to cite well-known facts. In all,
it is a book that should appeal to those with a special interest in the
Texas in the Confederacy is the handiest thing that I have seen since


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed October 4, 2015.