The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

messages. The colony's frontier economy involved an intercultural exchange
that "helped shape a unique set of mores and a common culture" (p. 147).
So able is the author's treatment of his subject that one hesitates to mention
minor flaws pertaining to Texas, such as the fuzzy account of Joseph Blanpain
(p. lo1). Blanpain, in 1754, established his trading post on the lower Trinity
River (not near St. Bernard Bay), was arrested by soldiers from Los Adaes (not
San Xavier), and taken to Mexico City to die in prison (not released to make
further trading excursions among the Texas coastal Indians). Usner writes sim-
plistically (p. 133) that "In 1773 the Spanish disbanded their settlement at Los
Adaes in order to reduce contraband trade." Actually, the reasons for the
Spanish withdrawal from eastern Texas at that time were much more complex
and affected several settlement areas besides Los Adaes, at present-day Robe-
line, Louisiana. More egregious than these minor miscues is the lack of a com-
prehensive bibliography to complement the copious footnotes.
Specialists will find Usner's work insightful and thought-provoking, and all
who read it will be rewarded by the enrichment of their cultural perspective.
Bonham, Texas ROBERT S. WEDDLE
Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Louisiana in the Civil War. By Carl
Moneyhon and Bobby Roberts. (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas
Press, 199o. Pp. xiii + 356. Preface, acknowledgments, black-and-white
photographs, maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $45.00 cloth,
$30.00 paper.)
Following on the heels of their well-received Portraits of Conflict study of pho-
tography in Civil War Arkansas, a similar work on Louisiana has now secured
authors Carl Moneyhon and Bobby Roberts high ranking among historians
producing scholarly-and attractive-works on nineteenth-century American
photography. This coffeetable-size tome boasts more than 250 images with de-
tailed descriptive captions, reflecting research in a wide range of collections,
both public and private. Although Confederate participants hold center stage,
their Union counterparts receive ample consideration.
Twelve brief chapters serve to highlight the main topics around which the
photographs are organized. After an introductory chapter on photographic
artists operating in Louisiana during the Civil War, the narrative describes the
state's secession from the Union; Louisianans who served in the Army of
Northern Virginia and in the western armies; the fall of New Orleans and the
struggle for Baton Rouge as well as western Louisiana; the campaign and siege
of Port Hudson; the climactic Red River campaign; and life behind the lines in
Louisiana. A final chapter deals with the bitter events of Reconstruction and
efforts by Confederate veterans to sanctify their service to the Lost Cause.
Interspersed between the chapters are the photographs themselves, repro-
duced with exquisite clarity and most of them so rare that they have never been
published before now. Although soldiers naturally receive the most attention,
political leaders and civilians also appear occasionally. Some of the most inter-
esting images depict families of escaped slaves and fledgling units of black


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 28, 2016.

Beta Preview