Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring, 1992 Page: 3
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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_J rom the Editor
S ince Dallas's earliest days, its residents have recognized a responsibility to their wider community, be
it state or nation. Nowhere has this been more evident than during times of war, when Dallas men and women have
risked their lives to defend their country's interests. As the nation commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of
America's entry into World War II, we focus this issue of Legacies on the theme, "Dallas Goes to War."
Dallas County had barely been formed when Dallas men marched off to fight in the Mexican War. For
some it was an opportunity to settle old scores left from the Revolution of 1836. Others saw themselves defending
the territorial integrity of the United States and securing the safety of Texas from future invasion. All suffered
hardship, and many perished, disease taking a greater toll than battle.
Only a dozen years later, Dallas men were again enlisting to fight, this time on behalf of the Confederacy.
This fight was more personal, to defend not only a territory but a way of life. Like many of their fellows who fought
in the Mexican War, some Confederate soldiers were attracted by the prospect of military adventure and glory, but
they too experienced the hardship, disease, and often death that accompany warfare. Richard Montgomery Gano
was one of the lucky ones. Although exposed to fire in numerous battles, he escaped serious injury, distinguished
himself in several commands, and survived to live a long and honorable life.
Both World Wars of the twentieth century took Dallas men and women farther afield than ever, to Europe
and the south Pacific. Their contributions extended beyond the battlefield to medical care, as the story of Dr. May
Agness Hopkins illustrates. The attitudes of those at home also became increasingly important, and Dallas
Morning News editorial cartoonist John Knott played an important role in building support for the Allied cause.
Troop morale both in war and peacetime has been bolstered by countless performers who often braved
hardship and sometimes danger to entertain the G.I.s. One Dallas musician who traveled widely with the USO for
nearly thirty years was Herbert Cowens, an African American drummer who led ajazz band. No military unit could
be more typically Texan than the cavalry, and the Dallas-based 112th Cavalry distinguished itself fighting
throughout the South Pacific during World War II. The photographs in this issue vividly depict the hazardous
conditions under which the Texans fought.
From the Mexican War to World War II, and on to Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, many Dallasites fought
bravely on behalf of their country, and more than one veteran would echo General Gano's observation, "I may forget
things of last week, but the memory of those who fought in the times that tried men's souls shall never be forgotten."
-Michael V. Hazel
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring, 1992, periodical, 1992; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35116/m1/5/: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.