The best books on Civil War Texas

Ed Cotham Author Of Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston
By Ed Cotham

The Books I Picked & Why

Cottonclads!: The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast

By Donald S. Frazier

Cottonclads!: The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast

Why this book?

This is the book I always recommend to people who don’t know very much about the Civil War battles that were fought in Texas. It is short, well-written, and has lots of good illustrations, photographs and maps. Don Frazier is one of the best Texas historians the state has ever produced and he really knows how to tell a story in an interesting and engaging fashion. Most Texans are amazed to see how many unusual and important battles were fought in Texas and this is the perfect introduction to the topic.


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Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast

By Julie Young, Andrew W. Hall

Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast

Why this book?

One of the most interesting stories involving Texas during the Civil War is the blockade runners that operated out of Galveston and other Texas ports. As other Confederate ports were captured by the Union, Texas gradually emerged as the last important route for Southern goods to be exported and weapons and other war materials to be imported. Andy Hall is the acknowledged expert on this subject and this book is essential for anyone wanting to explore this interesting and important subject. One of the best features of this book is that it includes many photographs, maps, and illustrations that are not available anywhere else.


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Galveston and the Civil War: An Island City in the Maelstrom

By James M. Schmidt

Galveston and the Civil War: An Island City in the Maelstrom

Why this book?

Galveston was the largest city in Texas at the time of the Civil War and it had the distinction of being blockaded, occupied by both sides, and was the subject of many battles and skirmishes. This book explores some of the battles, but it is particularly valuable because of the stories it explores relating to the way that the war affected the citizens of an important Texas city. It explores topics like Unionists in Galveston, yellow fever epidemics, and the liberation of enslaved African Americans. By focusing on one city and its citizens’ experiences throughout the war this book tells an important and interesting story.


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Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

By Ralph Wooster

Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Why this book?

This book includes 16 important essays by prominent Texas historians exploring a wide variety of themes relating to Texas and the war. The editors provide a useful introduction to the subject and the essays themselves are among the best things ever written on the chosen subjects. Alwyn Barr’s article on “Texas Coastal Defense,” for example, is a short but complete description of the ways that Texas Confederates chose to creatively and successfully defend their large coast. If you are interested in Texas history, this book is essential reading. I find myself returning to its pages again and again.


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The Fate of Texas: The Civil War and the Lone Star State

By Charles D. Grear

The Fate of Texas: The Civil War and the Lone Star State

Why this book?

This book includes 11 essays by an all-star cast of historians. It goes well beyond the military events of the war and covers the impact of the war on various groups of people. The essays discuss previously unexplored topics ranging from the wartime experiences of Texas women to the impact of the war on German immigrants. It also includes essays discussing the post-war impact of the conflict. Of particular interest is Carl H. Moneyhon’s essay on the reaction of Texans to Confederate defeat. This is not only an important book, but will also be interesting even to casual history lovers.


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