The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 308
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
McCulloch, E. J. Davis, Nathaniel P. Banks, Charles Nimitz,
and Fritz 'Tegener, he proceeds to build a plot around the "Feb-
ruary 18th conspiracy," entered into the day Twiggs surrendered
to McCulloch. This conspiracy, which the author claims "is
typical of the many and generally amateurish movements that
blossomed on both sides during the war," had three purposes:
first, to aid Texas Unionists; second, to furnish the North mili-
tary information; and third, to depreciate Confederate currency.
Mixed into this is the element of romantic love.
Much of the story takes place in San Antonio and Fredericks-
burg. Readers will recognize the Menger and Nimitz Hotels,
Main and Military Plazas, Market, Presa, and King William
Streets, and La Villita. Toepperwein's descriptions of them are
The details of fiction seem unimportant here, for the value
of the book lies elsewhere. The author has created a situation
which shows-no doubt with accuracy-how the war ruthlessly
interrupted normal relationships even so far from the battle-
fields. Fredericksburg, and other communities like it, were torn
apart, set back, and scarred. Toepperwein's accomplishments
could be greater if he would give to history the facts that he
has at his command without an attempt to make a better story
of them. Two specific points which he might develop further
are: (1) the effect that Sigel's part in the battle at Elkhorn
Tavern had on German Unionists in Texas, and (2) the influ-
ence Governor Houston had on Texas Germans.
Overuse of certain words damage the narrative. For instance,
one easily tires of "facade" and "laconically." Frequent use of
crude terms in the dialogue may reflect frontier Texas talk, but
in one or two places the author could have been more subtle.
Especially poor is the author's ability to keep reality in the
dialogue. For example, as one deserving villain stopped a bullet,
he turned to his cohort and announced, "I am killed, Sefior
Colonel." And poor Robert E. Lee! He could not have been so
melodramatic as he appears in his two scenes of this book. The
author is wordy, and he spends too much time explaining things
twice; his novel is weak. What strength it has lies in the history
it contains and in Toepperwein's ability to describe action.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/350/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.