The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 126
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
care during the Civil War. More interesting perhaps are Bates's frequent "men-
tal gyrations" (as Lowe put it) in trying to maintain his morale and rationalize
Confederate independence as a just cause rooted in principles of liberty and
self-determination (p. xii). "If the South fails we will be reduced to a state of slav-
ery in all but name," he wrote (p. 134).
This is the kind of book that should be read by those who would make of
Confederate soldiers either armed white supremacists or knightly heroes of the
venerated Lost Cause. Bates defies such pat characterizations. His racial views
were certainly not enlightened by modern standards; he believed African Amer-
icans were inferior, and saw no apparent irony in fighting to both avoid "slavery"
under the Yankees while simultaneously enslaving others. On the other hand,
his letters indicate that he fought for a variety of political and personal reasons,
some of which had relatively little to do with slavery or race.
The book is something of a hybrid, part edited primary-source collection and
part biography. Lowe skillfully knits together Bates's accounts with sometimes
lengthy descriptions of various people and events. This approach works quite
well; Lowe's narrative and annotations are firstrate, providing useful contextual
information. On the whole, A Texas Cavalry Officer's Civil War offers a fascinating
look at one Texan's Civil War.
Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana Brian R. Dirck
The Home Front: Life in Texas during the Civil War. Video with analysis by Ralph
Wooster, Jerry Don Thompson, Mike Campbell, et al. (Fort Worth: Forest
Glen Productions, 1998. 6o minutes in two parts, historical reenactments,
present-day footage of sites, illustrations, documents, graphics, analysis.
$34.95 each part, VHS.)
The hour-long video documentary, The Home Front: Life in Texas during the Civil
War by Forest Glen Productions, covers events and society in Texas during the
Civil War, and is thus distinguished from most treatments of Texas in the Civil
War, which center on the role of Texans in other theaters. Although it focuses
on material related to military events and military life in Texas during the war, it
also discusses the role of women, African Americans, Tejanos, and Native
Americans. Reenactors, primary documents with highlighted quotations, on-
camera experts, present-day location footage, historic photographs, and paint-
ings are utilized. The narrative begins with the secession convention of Texas
and ends with Juneteenth in 1865, when slaves in Texas found out about their
emancipation. Glen Sample Ely photographed, edited, narrated, produced, and
directed the documentary; Ely and Karen Gerhardt researched and wrote it.
Historic reenactments dramatize the recruitment of Texans into military ser-
vice in the eastern campaigns and the frontier forces as well as the difficulties of
maintaining discipline in the training camps. The issue of Unionism comprises a
sizeable portion of Part One, including the draft riots and protests, exemptions
and substitutions, and unrest on the border with Mexico. The best known of the
Unionism confrontations, The Great Hanging in Gainesville of 1862 with its
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/154/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.