Attack and Counterattack: The Texas Mexican Frontier, 1842.
By Joseph Milton Nance. Austin (University of 'Texas Press),
1964. Pp. xiv+75o. Illustrations, maps, bibliography, appen-
dices, index. $8.50.
In his preface to Attack and Counterattack, Nance depicts
1842 as the most crucial year since San Jacinto for Texas trontier
relations, but a year for which accounts are scanty. His object is
to fill this void in the 'Texas story, and he does to the length of
581 pages from prologue to appendices. The gap is now "covered,"
and the appendices are not the least of the covering because they
are the first complete printing of the muster rolls of the frontier
forces of Texas and of volunteer groups from the United States.
The accompanying identifications and data on terms of service
and types of equipment all contribute to the total picture of the
military of the Texas republic. This book by the chairman of the
history department at Texas A and M University is not meant for
escape reading; it is a necessity for libraries and collectors and is
basic for any study of Texas history.
As was the case in After San Jacinto: The Texas Mexican Fron-
tier, z836-1841, the first of his projected trilogy, Nance uses a
Prologue to set the stage for the drama to follow and an Epi-
logue to summarize the thrusts and counter-thrusts which at
the end of 1842 found the Somervell Expedition cold and starving
as it straggled back to Texas while a dissident group headed for
Mier, black beans, and Perote imprisonment. The drama is played
in four acts with many shifting scenes. Act I features the Vasquez
raid on San Antonio and the beginning of a second Texas runaway
scrape. Goliad and Refugio were briefly in enemy hands before the
Mexican departure proved quite as summary as their entry. With
President Houston's order to remove the government east from
Austin came the Archive War, which helped to create domestic
furor almost as frantic as reaction to the invading enemy.
Act II presents the Texan rally to defend the frontier. That the
rally was sincere is demonstrated by the Coast Guard's vote to
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed January 27, 2015.