Battlefields of Texas
(Republic of Texas Press/Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Bill Groneman is the author of several other books about Texas, among them Alamo Defenders, Defense of a Legend, and Eyewitness to the Alamo. The illustrations of Rod Timanus have appeared in Groneman's Eyewitness to the Alamo and in numerous issues of "The Alamo Journal," the quarterly journal of the Alamo Society. In Battlefields, Groneman provides "brief descriptions of some of the more important battles and battlefields of Texas." Some of the battles, such as the Alamo, San Jacinto, and Adobe Walls are familiar to almost everyone -- others, such as Agua Dulce Creek, Nueces, and The North Fork of the Red River will probably be new to any but the most devoted students of Texas history.
Groneman describes sixty-eight battles, which he divides into six historical
periods, Spanish/Mexican Texas, the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas,
incursions-war-statehood, the Civil War years, and Native Americans' last
stand. In two appendices, he lists Texas counties and their battles, and
short biographies of some of the battle participants. Bill uses the same
format to describe each battle, which can best be illustrated by his portrayal
of this, the shortest battle description in the book:
State Trooper/Indian Fight
29 August 1863
Texas state troopers
Lieutenant T. C. Wright
Native Americans (possibly Comanches)
Lieutenant T. C. Wright and a small company of Confederate state troopers attempted to stop a larger group of Indian warriors who were driving a herd of stolen horses through Taylor County. The warriors had the advantage in numbers and a position on higher ground when the troopers attacked. They outfought the troopers, who were forced to give up the fight.
Casualties: The troopers suffered two men wounded, including Lieutenant Wright.
Outcome: The Indians got away with their stolen horses.
Location: This fight took place one mile east of Buffalo Gap in Taylor County.
Markers: There is a Texas historical marker describing the "Vicinity of Indian Fight" at Old Settlers Reunion Ground in Buffalo Gap, Taylor County.
As Groneman says, "It is difficult to think of another state within the United States which has been fought over so jealously as Texas." Battlefields of Texas will serve as a handy guidebook for discovering and exploring the rich military history of Texas. As I read Battlefields, I kept finding battles, especially some of the Indian fights, that I wanted to learn more about. I've now searched out more information on the Surveyor's Fight at Battle Creek and the first Battle of Adobe Walls, and I plan to delve into others. Most readers of this book will find themselves doing the same. For a guidebook of this type, no higher compliment, or higher recommendation, can be made.
Robert L. Durham