Dr. Jerry D. Thompson, a noted scholar on the Southwest and dean of Texas A&M International University's College of Arts and Humanities, reveals little known accounts of the Civil War in a recently-published book for the Canseco-Keck History Series.
Titled, Civil War in the Southwest: Recollections of the Sibley Brigade (Texas A&M University Press), Dr. Thompson's book tells the dramatic story of the ill-fated New Mexico Campaign, in which Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley raised a brigade of young and zealous Texans to invade New Mexico Territory as a step toward the conquest of Colorado and California and the creation of a Confederate empire in the Southwest.
In the book, Thompson has edited and annotated 18 episodes written by William Lott "Old Bill" Davidson and six other members of the Sibley's Brigade, which were originally published between 1887 and 1888 in the Overton Sharp Shooter, a small East Texas newspaper.
The veterans' stories provide vivid accounts of the bloody battles of Valverde, Glorietta, and Peralta as well as details of the soldiers' tragic and painful retreat back to Texas in the summer of 1862.
A member of the prestigious Philosophical Society of Texas, Thompson is a Piper Professor honoree, a member of the Western Writers of America and president of the Texas State Historical Association. A prolific author of 18 books and more than 30 articles, he is considered one of the country's top scholars on the Southwest Campaign of the American Civil War and Border History.
He has been part of the A&M International faculty since 1987, and holds his doctorate in History from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn. His M.A. in history was received from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, while his B.A. in history was earned at Western New Mexico State University in Silver City, N.M.
Among his other publications are A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border, Fifty Miles and a Fight: Samuel Peter Heintzelman's Journal or Texas and the Cortina War, and Into the Far, Wild Country: True Tales of the Old Southwest.
The Canseco-Keck Series, sponsored by John Keck and Ceci Canseco Keck, publishes a book once a year that touches on historical topics such as the Texas-Mexican border, Texas or the Civil War. The books are published by the Texas A&M University Press. The Series was established in honor of the Canseco-Kecks' love for Texas border history.
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