The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 616
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Morgan W. Merrick's journal is the seventh published personal narrative of
the abortive Confederate campaign into New Mexico. As Jerry D. Thompson
points out in his introduction, the primary importance of this book is that Mer-
rick's is the only published journal or diary to deal with Lt. Col. John R. Baylor's
invasion and occupation of the Mesilla Valley in the summer of 1861. The
sketches made by Merrick are all rare scenes of the campaigns in New Mexico
and Louisiana in which he participated. Most of the sketches in the book are
printed in color, but a few are black-and-white. Readers will find them well-done
and detailed, though somewhat crude in nature.
Merrick's own title page to the journal dates it from February 16, 1861, to
May 26, 1865, but it actually ends suddenly in the summer of 1863. Several of
Merrick's sketches seem to have been made in the next six to twelve months of
the war, and he may have remained in the army until May 26, 1865. He saw duty
as a hospital steward with the Second Texas Mounted Rifles in the Mesilla Valley
in 1861 and with the Third Regiment of the Arizona Brigade from 1862 to
1863. That portion of the journal covering the period from October 1861 to the
summer of 1863 seems to have been written by Merrick well after the fact. His
account of his regiment's marches and campaigns in Louisiana is confused
chronologically and omits two important battles fought during those months.
Because his journal ends when it does and because there are no official records
of his military service, we do not know in what capacity he served from the sum-
mer of 1863 until the end of the war.
Thompson has done an excellent job of editing Merrick's journal. He obvious-
ly did research in a wide variety of primary and secondary sources in identifying
the people, places, and events mentioned by Merrick. In giving us From Desert to
Bayou, Thompson has helped fill an important gap in the story of the war in the
Trans-Mississippi theater. Anyone interested in that subject or in the involve-
ment of Texans in the conflict will find this book a most welcome addition to his
or her library.
Louisiana Office of State Parks ARTHUR W. BERGERON, JR.
The Civzl War Diary of Charles A. Leuschner. By Charles D. Spurlin. (Austin: Nortex
Press, 1992. Pp. vii+132. Preface, prologue, diary, epilogue, appendix, end-
notes, index. $14.95.)
Fifteen-year-old, Prussian-born Charles A. Leuschner joined the Sixth Texas
Infantry in the fall of 1861. A month after his sixteenth birthday, he was on his
way to a prisoner of war camp in Illinois, having been captured along with the
bulk of his regiment at Arkansas Post. After being exchanged, Leuschner saw ac-
tion as a member of Granbury's Texas Brigade at many of the great battles of the
western theater: Chicakamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta, and Franklin, where
he was recaptured.
Sometime after his return to Texas, Leuschner reconstructed a diary of his ex-
periences in the war. The result is a brief account of one man's Civil War, and it
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/686/?rotate=90: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.