When madness ruled the hour : Unionists and Confederates in Civil War Texas
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The historiographical literature on Texas during the Civil War supports the view that a wave of violence against Unionists swept across the state. This view stems in part from a tendency to characterize Texas as a uniquely dangerous place where violence was an accepted method of conflict resolution. Those studies which touch upon the relations between Confederates and Unionists in wartime Texas uncritically accept contemporary accounts of repression, which reinforce the stereotype of Texas as the “Dark Corner of the Confederacy.” This study examines the experiences of those Texans who refused either to abandon their allegiance to the old Union or leave Texas during secession and war. It focuses on the social interactions between Unionists and their Confederate friends and neighbors. It evaluates the scale of violence against Unionists, and the prevailing view that they were treated severely, and with conspicuous disregard for their rights. It analyzes the lives of various Unionists, both prominent and obscure, as well as documented accounts of the most notorious episodes of wartime violence in Texas. It explains that Unionists were not, in fact, systematically mistreated by Confederate Texans, and reveals how the interplay of conformity and tolerance minimized violence and averted a civil war within the state.