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

Book Reviews

Josephy argues most convincingly that the Indian Wars in the Trans-Mississip-
pi from 1861 to 1865 were far larger in scale, and certainly more bitter in na-
ture, than the better-known struggles which followed. Josephy also points out
that the Indian Wars had nothing to do with overall Confederate strategy and
everything to do with conquest and Manifest Destiny, despite what New York Tri-
bune editor Horace Greeley was writing.
In three chapters on the 1862 Confederate New Mexico campaign, Josephy
relies too heavily on secondary sources, many of which are outdated and unreli-
able. He repeats the long-dismissed myth that the two antagonists, Edward
Richard Sprigg Canby and Henry Hopkins Sibley, were related by marriage. Stu-
dents of the campaign's strategy are likely to question Josephy's assertion that
Fort Stanton, some 145 miles to the east of the Rio Grande, was crucial to con-
trolling the central valley. The horses stolen from Fort Fillmore in 1861 were
not taken by the citizens of Mesilla but by Rebel Texans who had occupied Fort
Bliss. Before the war, Union Capt. James Graydon ran a saloon at Fort
Buchanan, not Fort Breckenridge.
Josephy's account of events leading to the skirmish at San Augustin Pass in Ju-
ly 1861 and the larger battle at Valverde in February 1862 is somewhat con-
fused. The officer who supervised the construction of the buildings at Fort
Union before the war was Caleb C. Sibley, not Henry H. Sibley. The statement
that exact casualties in the Battle of Glorieta may never be known is no longer
true. Not only do historians know the number of dead and wounded, but by ex-
amining the remains of a Confederate mass grave at Pigeon's Ranch they have
determined the exact nature of their fatal wounds. The statement that during
the mountainous Confederate retreat many of the sick and wounded were
"thrown out of the few wagons and abandoned" is also incorrect (p. 81). Al-
though some of the Confederates were left in wagons on the Rio Grande, and a
few perished during the trek, there is no evidence that the sick were abused and
callously left to die.
Most of Josephy's errors, however, are minor. Handsomely produced, with
twenty detailed and nicely drawn maps, although curiously lacking photographs,
The Cwvil War in the American West is the first comprehensive overview of the war
in the Trans-Mississippi.
Laredo State University JERRY D. THOMPSON
From Desert to Bayou: The Civil War Journal and Sketches of Morgan Wolfe Merrick. By
Jerry D. Thompson (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1991. Pp. vi+135. Intro-
duction, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $40.oo.)
Personal narratives by Union and Confederate soldiers have long been among
the most useful and interesting books published about the American Civil War.
Those accounts penned by the common soldiers are particularly pertinent to
our understanding of what the conflict was really like. When the narratives have
accompanying sketches or drawings by the soldier, they are especially valuable.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed July 10, 2014.