A volunteer officer with the 9th Texas Cavalry Regiment from 1861 to 1865, James Campbell Bates saw some of the most important and dramatic clashes in the Civil War's western and trans-Mississippi theaters. Bates rode thousands of miles, fighting in the Indian Territory; at Elkhorn Tavern in Arkansas; at Corinth, Holly Springs, and Jackson, Mississippi; at Thompson's Station, Tennessee; and at the crossing of the Etowah River during Sherman's Atlanta campaign. In a detailed diary and dozens of long letters to his family, he recorded his impressions, confirming the image of the Texas cavalrymen as a hard-riding bunch—long on aggression and short on discipline. Bates's writings, which remain in the possession of his descendants, treat scholars to a documentary treasure trove and all readers to an enthralling, first-person dose of American history.
Richard Lowe is Regents Professor of History at the University of North Texas. He is the author of six previous books, including Walker’s Texas Division, C.S.A: Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi.
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