The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998

Book Reviews

Gonzales, Columbus, and Jefferson. This volume consists of three monographs
within a single cover. In each case the narrative is followed by a section of black-
and-white photographs.
In format, or formula, the community histories are similar, or, one might say,
equal. The section on each begins with a brief sketch of why the town is or was
important, followed by a chronological presentation of the "facts," such as
events, personalities, businesses, buildings, battles, and especially churches. For
example, in the section on Gonzales one reads about the leadership of impre-
sario DeWitt Greet and the labors ofJames Kerr to determine the location of the
colony, the confrontation over a cannon in October 1835, area participants in
the Battle of San Antonio and the defense of the Alamo, the beginning of the
San Jacinto Campaign with the burning of the town, and, eventually, of the lead-
ership of George Littlefield and others in the cattle industry.
For Jefferson, myths and legitimate history are identified and blended.
Although much of the material was available previously in Fred Tarpley's
Jefferson: Riverport to the Southwest (1983), Davis gives a good account of Jay Gould,
Diamond Bessie and Abe Rothschild, Clarance Braden, the river raft, and other
familiar stories.
"Familiar," that is, to residents ofJefferson; the same can be said about each of
the community histories. Doubtless those who still reside in them, or who left
seeking economic opportunities elsewhere, will find the section on their home-
town of greatest interest. But Jeffersonians can profit from learning about the
trials of Columbus and Gonzales, and vice versa.
Stephen F. Austin State University ARCHIE P. McDONALD
Terry Texas Ranger Trilogy: Terry's Texas Rangers; Reminiscences of the Terry Rangers;
and The Diary of Ephraim Shelby Dodd. ByJ. K. P. Blackburn, L. B. Giles, and E.
S. Dodd. Introduction by Thomas W. Cutrer. (Austin: State House Press,
1996. Pp. xxxii+241. Illustrations, introduction, index, credits. ISBN 1-
880510-45-6. $24.95 cloth.)
Undoubtedly hundreds of soldiers during the Civil War kept some type of
written record of their experiences-letters home, a diary, or notes-to later
assist them. Some diaries survived but many did not. This book is the record of
three Confederate soldiers of their war years, all members of that elite corps led
by Benjamin Franklin Terry, Eighth Texas Cavalry. Each account has been previ-
ously published but is no longer easily available.
The recollections ofJ. K P. Blackburn and L. B. Giles were prepared some fifty
years after the events described. Remarkably their memories were accurate and
provided an objective version of the events they observed or in which they partic-
ipated. Even though they had had the time and opportunity to read numerous
versions of the war, they focused on their own personal experiences. The two are
very personal but accurate.
Ephraim Shelby Dodd's war record is more immediate and more tragic. His is
a true diary, a brief summary of the day's activities recorded at the end of the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/. Accessed August 22, 2014.