In the nineteenth century, Texas’s advancing western frontier was the site of one of America’s longest conflicts between white settlers and native peoples. The Texas Hill Country functioned as a kind of borderland within the larger borderland of Texas itself, a vast and fluid area where, during the Civil War, the slaveholding South and the nominally free-labor West collided. As in many borderlands, Nicholas Roland argues, the Hill Country was marked by violence, as one set of peoples, states, and systems eventually displaced others.
In this painstakingly researched book, Roland analyzes patterns of violence in the Texas Hill Country to examine the cultural and political priorities of white settlers and their interaction with the century-defining process of national integration and state-building in the Civil War era. He traces the role of violence in the region from the eve of the Civil War, through secession and the Indian wars, and into Reconstruction. Revealing a bitter history of warfare, criminality, divided communities, political violence, vengeance killings, and economic struggle, Roland positions the Texas Hill Country as emblematic of the Southwest of its time.
Nicholas Roland is a historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, DC.
More than a case study of the Texas Hill Country, this book helps us better understand westward expansion and the ways in which the Civil War increased tension and violence among white settlers on the frontier of the slave South. The analysis is always sound, frequently very insightful, and based on outstanding research in both published and unpublished sources.
~William D. Carrigan, Rowan University, author of The Making of a Lynching Culture: Violence and Vigilantism in Central Texas, 1836-1916
An insightful study of how the violence of insurgency and counterinsurgency shaped the Texas Hill Country's ethnic, social, economic, and political relations during the Civil War era. Accounting for nearly timeless global patterns, Roland's work will be of interest not only to historians but also to security scholars.
~Lance R. Blyth, Command Historian, NORAD and US Northern Command, author of Chiricahua and Janos: Communities of Violence in the Southwestern Borderlands, 1680-1880
[A] fascinating new study...Employing a sophisticated and creative research and analysis of Texas Hill Country patterns of interpersonal, ethnic, political, and economic violence during the key transitional period of the mid to late nineteenth-century, Nicholas Roland skillfully weaves into his narrative a host of local, state, and national contexts the overall assessment of which forms a welcome, even vital, contribution to the literature of westward expansion. A multitude of scholarly and popular reading audiences, including American Civil War, Indian Wars, Southwest borderlands, and German American immigrant history students, are abundantly well served through the contents of this book. Violence in the Hill Country is highly recommended.
~Civil War Books and Authors
Roland provides a good narrative of what happened in the Hill Country, and he should be commended as the first to place these well-known violent events, especially the aptly named Nueces River Massacre, within a broader historical context...Roland does an excellent job of using a variety of primary resources—including government records, newspapers, letters, and memoirs—to create a thorough narrative.
This well-written, meticulously researched book offers a scholarly assessment of many long-popularized stories and events…Recommended.
This is an important addition to the literature on Texas during the Civil War and to frontier and violence studies. Roland’s extensive endnotes, especially those on the Nueces River battle, will be particularly useful for scholars seeking to expand their understanding of this important topic.
~Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Roland does a great job of contributing to the study of violence in Texas, joining scholars such as Barry Crouch, James Smallwood, and Kenneth Howell by bringing the study into the realm of the Civil War where most research focuses on the Reconstruction Era. The author weaves throughout the narrative unique stories of individual violence to highlight how personal many of the killings were. He also supports many points with quantitative analysis. His unique approach in this study allows him to contribute to many subfields in Texas history including frontier, German, and Civil War history.
~Western Historical Quarterly
[Roland] weaves a detailed and well-researched narrative of the years before, during, and after the Civil War, providing the reader with a vivid image of Hill Country life during this time...Roland has created a well-written work that greatly enhances the historiography related to the period and region...General readers and historians alike will enjoy this book both for its readability and for the author’s diligent primary source research.
~Journal of the Civil War Era
Introduction Chapter One. The Texas Hill Country on the Eve of the Civil War Chapter Two. The Hill Country in Antebellum Politics and the Secession Crisis Chapter Three. From Secession to the Nueces River Chapter Four. Indians, Inflation, and Bushwhackers Chapter Five. Civil War and Political Violence Chapter Six. Reconciliation and the Incorporation of the Texas Frontier Conclusion Acknowledgments Appendix A. Indian Raiding Deaths during the Civil War Appendix B. Casualties of Civil War Violence, 1862–1865 Appendix C. Indian Raiding Deaths after the Civil War Notes Index
Stay connected for our latest books and special offers.
We live in an information-rich world. As a publisher of international scope, the University of Texas Press serves the University of Texas at Austin community, the people of Texas, and knowledge seekers around the globe by identifying the most valuable and relevant information and publishing it in books, journals, and digital media that educate students; advance scholarship in the humanities and social sciences; and deepen humanity’s understanding of history, current events, contemporary culture, and the natural environment.