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Books | Texas History

Women in Civil War Texas:
Diversity and Dissidence
in the Trans-Mississippi

Edited by Deborah M. Liles and Angela Boswell

(Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2016)
Pages 297. Hardcover, $29.95.
ISBN: 978-1-57441-651-0.

Review by Dr. Kirk Bane

September 1, 2018

Professors Deborah M. Liles (University of North Texas) and Angela Boswell (Henderson State University) have assembled an impressive and much needed anthology of eleven essays examining the lives of Texas women during the Civil War era. Among their contributors are such notable scholars as Bruce A. Glasrud, Linda S. Hudson, Rebecca Sharpless, and Jerry Thompson. This collection covers a number of significant topics, including the ardent support of many women for secession and war; the perils facing women living on the western frontier; the challenges confronting wives whose husbands were away in battle; the importance of letter writing in maintaining family bonds; the difficulties encountered by women holding pro-Union views; the treatment of refugee women in east Texas; and the unique experiences of German, African American, and Mexican-Texan women.

In the volume's introduction, Dr. Boswell observes that the Civil War "transformed life for women in Texas in ways similar to their sisters in other Southern states and in ways unique to the state as well." The articles in this book, she continues, "develop the historical understanding of what it meant to be a Texas woman during the Civil War and also contribute to a deeper understanding of the complexity of the war and its effects."

This superb publication will appeal to readers interested in the Civil War as well as women's history. Liles and Boswell should be commended for their excellent study.


Dr. Kirk Bane,
Book Review Editor,
Central Texas Studies

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