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TAMIU’s Thompson Co-Authors Biography on Military Commander, Publishes 30th Book Posted: 11/18/20

TAMIU’s Thompson Co-Authors Biography on Military Commander, Publishes 30th Book

 

Dr. Jerry D. Thompson
Dr. Jerry D. Thompson  

The life and distinguished military career of General John Ellis Wool is the subject of a new, co-authored biography by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents and Piper Professor of History Dr. Jerry D. Thompson.

Co-authored alongside Professor of History at the University of Arizona Dr. Harwood P. Hinton, the biography, “Courage Above All Things: General John Ellis Wool and the U.S. Military, 1812 – 1863,” meticulously details the extraordinary life of General John Ellis Wool.

Half a century was devoted to the creation, research and publication of this formative biographical work. The deeply researched work couples both Hinton’s vast knowledge of western history and was edited and completed by Thompson. This is Thompson’s 30thpublished book as author or editor.

Thompson met Hinton at an academic conference and the two quickly became good friends, often meeting for dinner or just to talk.

“I remember one time getting lost in a taxi ride in Houston trying to find one of Harwood’s favorite Mexican restaurants. I was greatly grieved at his passing because he was such a good friend. He knew so much and I really respected him,” said Thompson.

After Hinton’s passing, Thompson drove up to Midland, TX where he loaded up seven boxes of research records on General Wool and brought them back to Laredo.

“Harwood had gone to Troy, New York some 50 years ago to visit General Wool’s birthplace and his grave. Two years ago, I followed in his footsteps and spent 10 days in Troy digging through the voluminous Wool papers at the New York State Library archives in nearby Albany. All of the records Hinton collected that I brought back to Laredo are at the archives at Texas A&M University today, which was Harwood’s desire,” explained Thompson.

Dr. Samuel J. Watson, professor of history at the United States Military Academy West Point and author of “Jackson’s Sword: The Army Officer Corps on the American Frontier, 1810 – 1821,” noted the following.

“Few 19th Century U.S. Army officers have such long and wide experience as John Wool, and Courage Above All Things is among the most comprehensive biographies of a 19thCentury Army officer. Jerry Thompson has added great depth to Harwood Hinton’s valuable account, especially for the Civil War and the U.S. war with Mexico. This is an immense, essential contribution to the study of 19thCentury American military history,” said Watson.

This seminal work is the first full biography of Wool, an eminent figure known for his role as an officer in the United States Army during the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. Wool remains a central character in various moments throughout U.S. history, and is especially remembered for his roles in the Cherokee Removal, as well as the battles with Native Americans along the West Coast.

Thompson, who has been part of the TAMIU faculty since 1987, is widely regarded as one of the country’s leading Civil War historians, especially regarding the Southwest Campaign. He is one of only a handful of writers to receive the Texas Institute of Letters Best Non-Fiction Award three times. He is also the only three-time recipient of the Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize.

Among his published work includes titles such as, “Texas and New Mexico on the Eve of the Civil War: The Mansfield and Johnston Inspections, 1859–1861” (UNM Press), “Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls: Joe Lynch Davis and the Last of the Oklahoma Outlaws,” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019).

Among other publications are “Civil War in the Southwest, A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border,” “Fifty Miles and a Fight: Samuel Peter Heintzelman's Journal of Texas and the Cortina War,” and “Into the Far, Wild Country: True Tales of the Old Southwest.”

Thompson is the recipient of the Texas State Historical Association’s 2018 Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research for his Pulitzer-Prize nominated publication, “Tejano Tiger: José de los Santos Benavides and the Texas-México Borderlands, 1823-1891” (Texas Christian University Press).  

He has received the prestigious Pate Award twice—in 2016 for “A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers and Militia” (University of New Mexico Press) and in 2006 for “Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier.”

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu or 326.2180 or visit offices in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, suite 268.

 

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