Book Review: The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846-1876


by Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller, & Russell K. Shonrock, editors

College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2019. Pp. xx, 330. Illus., maps, diagr., notes, biblio., index. $45,00. ISBN: 1623497191

An Overlooked Region in the Era of the Civil War

The editors, Texas academics with several books and articles to their credit, have collected eleven papers by themselves and a number of promising young scholars that examine the history of the lower Rio Grande region from the earliest times through the end of Reconstruction.

While the papers mostly concentrate on the era of the Civil War, a period of turmoil on both sides of the eventual Mexico-US border, some of them reach into the eighteenth century to examine the Spanish-Mexican settlement of the region, the Mexican-American War, the evolution of the complex multi-racial social environment of the region, the cotton industry, and the experiences of African-American soldiers in the region.

Several focus more narrowly on the civil wars in the U.S. and Mexico in the period, and since the editors are principals in a program bringing historical archaeology into regional schools, an essay on the excavation of the Palmito Ranch battlefield.

The Civil War on the Rio Grande, a volume in A&M’s “Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest”, is a valuable read for anyone interested in Texas or Mexican history, as well as the Civil War, life on the frontier, and race relations.


Note: The Civil War on the Rio Grande is also available in several e-editions


StrategyPage reviews are shared with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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