The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Book Reviews

suited in a work that reflects well on the Mexican American Mono-
graph Series published jointly by the University of Texas Press and the
Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas.
Angelo State University ARNOLDO DE LEON
A Terry Texas Ranger: The Lzfe Record of H. W. Graber. By H. W. Graber.
Introduction by Thomas W. Cutrer. (Austin: State House Press,
1987. Pp. xxxiii+454. Introduction, preface, index. $19.95, cloth;
$12.95, paper.)
Of all the troops from Texas who fought for the Confederacy, few
established a better combat record or won greater fame than Terry's
Texas Rangers. Never officially Texas Rangers, these volunteers discov-
ered in the spring of 1862 they had "a reputation [they] had never
earned but were called on to sustain" (p. 35). And sustain it they did,
accumulating battle honors from Kentucky to North Carolina, while
winning acclaim as one of the Army of Tennessee's hardest-fighting
and most reliable units.
The long-overdue reissue of a rare 1916 memoir, A Terry Texas
Ranger: The Life Record of H. W. Graber is a welcome addition to the
literature concerning this famous outfit. Henry W. Graber-German-
born, well-educated, and acquisitive-cut an unlikely figure as the
stereotypical Rebel cavalryman; his expertise was in the dry-goods busi-
ness, and at heart he always remained a merchant. Although he sur-
vived many scrapes, Graber somehow managed to miss most of the
Rangers' greatest moments of martial glory. Written more than fifty
years after the fact, his descriptions of wartime experiences supplement
but in no way replace the other better-known Terry's Texas Ranger
reminiscences of Leonidas B. Giles and James K. P. Blackburn.
Henry Graber's postwar recollections are, in some ways, his most re-
vealing. The first attempt to reestablish his Hempstead dry goods busi-
ness failed when he became embroiled with northern occupation forces.
In one of the book's most dramatic sections, Graber tells of fleeing his
family and home after killing two Federal soldiers in self-defense. The
description of his subsequent odyssey across the desolated South pre-
sents a compelling picture of the turmoil and uncertainty that marked
the beginning of Reconstruction. The remainder of Graber's mem-
oir-a long and sometimes bitter account of his Sisyphian efforts to
achieve lasting business success-concludes with the charming story of
how he and some other veterans were able to retrieve from the state of
Indiana a lost regimental flag of Terry's Texas Rangers.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed September 2, 2014.