Thomas T. Smith

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Publications

The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth Century Texas


In The Old Army in Texas, U.S. Army officer and historian Thomas "Ty" Smith presents a comprehensive and authoritative single-source reference for the activities of the regular army in the Lone Star State during the nineteenth century. Beginning with a series of maps that sketch the evolution of fort locations on the frontier, Smith furnishes an overview with his introductory essay, "U.S. Army Combat Operations in the Indian Wars of Texas, 1849–;1881." Reprinted from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Smith's essay breaks new ground in an innovative analysis of the characteristics of army tactical methods and the nature of combat on the Texas frontier, introducing a unique historical model and methodology to examine the army-Indians conflicts.The second part of this guide, "Commanders and Organization, Department of Texas, 1848–;1900," lists the departmental commanders, the location of the military headquarters, and the changes in the administrative organization and military titles for Texas.Part III, "U.S. Army Sites in Texas 1836–;1900," provides a dictionary of 223 posts, forts, and camps in the state. It is the most extensive inventory published to date, including essential information on all of the major forts, as well as dozens of obscure sites such as Camp Las Laxas, Camp Ricketts, and Camp Lugubrious. The fourth part, "Post Garrisons, 1836–;1900," gives a year by year snapshot of total army strength in the state, the regiments assigned, and the garrisons and commanders of each major fort and camp.Supplying the only such synopsis of its kind, the "Summary of U.S. Army Combat Actions in the Texas Indian Wars, 1849–;1881," the guide's Part V, offers a chronological description of 224 U.S. Army combat actions in the Indian Wars with vivid details of each engagement.The 900 entries in the selected bibliography of Part VI are divided topically into sections on biographical sources and regimental histories, histories of forts, garrison life, civil-military relations, the Mexican War, and frontier operations. In addition to being a helpful catalog of standard histories, there are two important and unusual aspects to the bibliography. It contains a complete range of primary source microfilm material from the National Archives, including the roll numbers of specific periods of forts and units; and secondly, the bibliography integrates nearly all of the published archeological reports into the section on fort histories.The Old Army in Texas is an indispensable reference and research tool for students, scholars, and military history aficionados. It will be of great value to those interested in Texas history, especially military history and local and regional studies. This superb reference work is illustrated with a number of maps and rare photographs of the U.S. Army in nineteenth century Texas.

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The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921


Listen to author Ty Smith discuss this book on TPR’s “Texas Matters” radio program broadcast June 4, 2018.Even before Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and the following punitive expedition under General John J. Pershing, the U.S. Army was strengthening its presence on the southwestern border in response to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Manning forty-one small outposts along a three-hundred mile stretch of the Rio Grande region, the army remained for a decade, rotating eighteen different regiments, primarily cavalry, until the return of relative calm. The remote, rugged, and desolate terrain of the Big Bend defied even the technological advances of World War I, and it remained very much a cavalry and pack mule operation until the outposts were finally withdrawn in 1921.With The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911–1921, Thomas T. “Ty" Smith, one of Texas’s leading military historians, has delved deep into the records of the U.S. Army to provide an authoritative portrait, richly complemented by many photos published here for the first time, of the final era of soldiers on horseback in the American West.THOMAS T. SMITH, Col. (Ret.) U.S. Army, of San Antonio is the author of The U.S. Army and the Texas Frontier Economy, 1845–1900 (Texas A&M University Press, 1999) and The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Texas State Historical Association, 2000). He is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.

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The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921


Listen to author Ty Smith discuss this book on TPR’s “Texas Matters” radio program broadcast June 4, 2018.Even before Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and the following punitive expedition under General John J. Pershing, the U.S. Army was strengthening its presence on the southwestern border in response to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Manning forty-one small outposts along a three-hundred mile stretch of the Rio Grande region, the army remained for a decade, rotating eighteen different regiments, primarily cavalry, until the return of relative calm. The remote, rugged, and desolate terrain of the Big Bend defied even the technological advances of World War I, and it remained very much a cavalry and pack mule operation until the outposts were finally withdrawn in 1921.With The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911–1921, Thomas T. “Ty" Smith, one of Texas’s leading military historians, has delved deep into the records of the U.S. Army to provide an authoritative portrait, richly complemented by many photos published here for the first time, of the final era of soldiers on horseback in the American West.THOMAS T. SMITH, Col. (Ret.) U.S. Army, of San Antonio is the author of The U.S. Army and the Texas Frontier Economy, 1845–1900 (Texas A&M University Press, 1999) and The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Texas State Historical Association, 2000). He is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.

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


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 and places of the antebellum and post-Civil War Texas frontier is among the very best of Texas history.

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