The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Book Reviews

thor's discussions of the significant number of women artists whose work ap-
pears in the collection.
Preceding Steinfeldt's text is a handy brief history of the Texas Collection by
Mark Lane, director of the Witte, and an excellent introduction by William H.
Goetzmann. Goetzmann's essay raises and addresses provocative questions about
the character and quality of Texas art, and effectively prepares the reader for the
wealth of material that follows.
Cecilia Steinfeldt's impressive volume becomes the standard survey of histori-
'cal Texas art. With its detailed information, plentiful illustrations, and extensive
documentation, Art for History's Sake not only offers a fuller understanding of the
past, but provides a solid foundation for further studies and interpretations of
Texas art.
Texas Christian Unzverszty MARK THISTLETHWAITE
Tainted Breeze. By Richard McCaslin. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1994. Pp. xxi+234. Acknowledgments, introduction, epilogue, appen-
dix, index. ISBN o-80711-825-7. $29.95.)
Two of the most important substantiated cases of Confederate atrocities
against Union men occurred in Texas in 1862: the massacre on the Nueces Riv-
er of German-American militiamen attempting to flee Texas, and the "Great
Hanging" at Gainesville, in which forty-one Cooke County men were lynched for
participating in an alleged plot to overrun North Texas. Richard B. McCaslin
provides a comprehensive narrative and convincing analysis of the latter in
Tainted Breeze, utilizing both an intimidating body of qualitative sources and an
unobtrusive yet effective quantitative approach.
Although Cooke County was hardly a stronghold of the plantation-style econo-
my that prevailed farther to the east, McCaslin shows that local leaders came al-
most entirely from the ranks of the county's slaveowners. Confronted by
determined resistance to secession--61 percent of the county voted against the
Texas secession ordinance-as well as chronic instability brought about by Indi-
an raids, the absence of an effective military force, increasing desertion and dis-
affection among the hard-pressed population of the county, and an influx of
white refugees and their slaves, the most powerful men in the county sought to
restore order by resorting to violence. With their actions sanctioned by southern
traditions of vigilance and honor, and backed up by local militia units, they ar-
rested hundreds of men suspected of belonging to a loosely organized "Peace
Party." Based on the testimony of a few informants, who suggested that the orga-
nization planned to kill all of the secessionist men, women, and children in the
county, vigilantes tried scores of suspects. Many were hanged after being convict-
ed by a citizen's court; many others were lynched after their acquittals or before
actually coming to trial.
McCaslin relates the incident to earlier episodes of vigilante activity, particu-
larly during an alleged slave uprising in 186o, and continues his story well into
Reconstruction, when local Confederates continued their purge of Unionists.

1994

347

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/. Accessed April 20, 2014.