The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

aid them in avoiding the secession of their states. Lincoln's indifference
to attempts at reaching a compromise satisfactory to the many factions
of the Republican party and his willingness to use force at Fort Sumter
and thereafter doomed Seward's efforts and those of Upper South
unionists.
It is in this second part of his work that Crofts does his most original
work, and those interested in why the Civil War came about should
read it with care. His observations on secession while in some ways un-
fulfilling confirm the growing consensus that the particular structure
of parties, regions, and slavery within each state were essential to the
path of secession.
Texas A&M University WALTER L. BUENGER
Between the Enemy and Texas: Parsons's Texas Cavalry in the Civil War. By
Anne J. Bailey. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press,
1989. Pp. xvi+357. Preface, introduction, illustrations, maps, epi-
logue, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $25.95-)
The story of Confederate cavalry duty west of the Mississippi River
has largely been ignored by historians, but Anne J. Bailey has helped
correct this in her book on Col. William Henry Parsons's Texas Cavalry
brigade. Enlisting primarily from East and Central Texas, over 4,000
men ultimately served in the brigade. Independent, familiar with
Indian-style fighting, and brave to a fault, they proved very effective in
the small scale, highly mobile cavalry action that marked the war in
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. Common characteristics of the Tex-
ans were their determination to keep the Yankees out of Texas and
their personal devotion to Parsons. This latter trait often caused head-
aches for their generals since the brigade threatened mutiny at any at-
tempt to transfer Parsons or remove him from command. Although
obviously admiring her subjects, Bailey does not let this interfere with
her objectivity. Drawing from a host of primary material, she portrays
the Texans as they really were-mostly upstanding citizens but with
enough drunkards and rowdies mixed in to make them unpredictable.
At their worst they killed, captured, and wounded Negro soldiers; at
their best they performed heroic duty on raids and picket lines.
This colorful, descriptive account of the exhausting and brutal na-
ture of western cavalry duty is the book's main value. Combat was more
personal in the cavalry, often hand-to-hand, and duty was never end-
ing. Whereas infantry usually went into winter quarters, Parsons's men
never had rest. Summer and winter found them picketing, scouting,
and raiding throughout the swamps and forests of Arkansas and Loui-
siana. From protecting Little Rock in 1862 to skirmishing with Union

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed September 1, 2014.