The Reminiscences of Major General Zenas R. Bliss, 1854-1876: From the Texas Frontier to the Civil War and Back Again

Overview

The "Reminiscences" of Maj. Gen. Zenas R. Bliss are a remarkably detailed account of his army service in Texas before and after the Civil War. Many scholars consider Bliss's recollections to be one of the best from a soldier of the "Old Army." It has become a staple primary resource for Texas frontier research for the last three decades.

Bliss's memoirs serve as a rare and important window into Texas' military, political, cultural, and geographical history. The memoirs cover ...

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Overview

The "Reminiscences" of Maj. Gen. Zenas R. Bliss are a remarkably detailed account of his army service in Texas before and after the Civil War. Many scholars consider Bliss's recollections to be one of the best from a soldier of the "Old Army." It has become a staple primary resource for Texas frontier research for the last three decades.

Bliss's memoirs serve as a rare and important window into Texas' military, political, cultural, and geographical history. The memoirs cover Bliss's graduation at West Point in 1854, his antebellum service at Fort Duncan, Camp Hudson, and Fort Davis, as well as his return to the Texas frontier in 1870, and end with his duties at Fort Davis in 1876. Details also describe his capture by Texas Confederate forces in 1861, his tribulations as a prisoner of war, and his subsequent Civil War experiences as a Union regimental commander at Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, and Petersburg, where he was at the battle of the Crater. For gallantry at Fredericksburg, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

While commanding buffalo soldiers at Fort Duncan in 1870, Bliss conceived the idea of enlisting Seminole-Negro Indians from Mexico as army scouts. After successfully lobbying the departmental commander and the War Department for approval, Bliss formed the first band of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts in August of 1870. The unit served the army with extraordinary devotion and distinction until 1912.

Bliss served in Texas longer than any other army officer (twenty-three years) and rose in rank from second lieutenant to departmental commander. Possessing a keen sense of humor, an eye for detail, and a boisterous social nature, his lively account of the people andplaces of the antebellum and post-Civil War Texas frontier is among the very best of Texas history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876112267
  • Publisher: Texas State Historical Association
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Pages: 750
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Col. Thomas T. Smith, Garrison Commander, Fort Riley, Kansas, is the author of The Old Army in Texas.

Jerry D. Thompson, Regents Professor at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, is the author of numerous publications, including Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier.

Robert Wooster, Joe Frantz Professor of History at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, is the author of many books, including Frontier Crossroads: Fort Davis and the West.

Ben E. Pingenot, deceased, was the author of many books, including Siringo.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xi
Preface     1
West Point to Texas, 1854     3
Fort Duncan, 1854-1855     16
Scouting on the Frontier, 1854-1855     41
Fort Chadbourne and Fort Davis, 1855     49
Fort Davis, 1855-1858     73
El Paso, Fort Davis, and Indian Scouts, 1858-1859     87
People and Places on the Texas Frontier     108
Soldier's Life     130
From Camp Hudson to Fort Mason, 1858     153
Fort Clark and Camp Hudson, 1859-1860     174
Recruits for Texas, 1860     207
Fort Quitman, 1861     218
Evacuating West Texas, 1861     230
San Antonio and the Secessionists, 1861-1862     245
Life behind Confederate Lines, 1862     276
Return North, 1862     297
Fredericksburg, 1862     311
Vicksburg and Jackson, 1863     335
Return to the Army of the Potomac, 1863-1864     351
The Crater, 1864     366
Restoration, 1865-1867     381
Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip, 1868-1869     400
Ship Island, Jackson Barracks and Fort Jackson, 1869-1870     415
Fort Duncan,1870-1871     425
Fort Duncan and Fort Clark, 1871-1872     443
Fort Stockton and Fort Davis, 1872-1874     456
Texas Journeys, 1874-1875     471
Forts Bliss and Fort Davis, 1875-1876     482
Bibliography     491
Index     507
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