TSHA Press

Publishing books on Texas history since 1918.

TSHA is the state’s longest-running publisher of books on Texas history, having published our first volume in 1918. Through the years, we have established a reputation as a publisher of high-quality, award-winning books on a wide variety of topics, including exploration, biography, architecture, historic sites, high school football, labor unions, and suburbanization. All lovers of Texas's rich pasts will find something to enjoy among our books.

List of Publications (109 total) Page 5 of 10

Fifty Miles and a Fight: Major Samuel Peter Heintzelman's Journal of Texas and the Cortina War

Fifty Miles and a Fight: Major Samuel Peter Heintzelman's Journal of Texas and the Cortina War, a rare and dramatic firsthand account of one of the most volatile and traumatic events in the long history of Texas--the Cortina War, chronicles the day-to-day activities of one of the most cultured, dedicated, and well-respected (although often vain) officers of the antebellum frontier army. It was while Heintzelman was at Camp Verde on September 28, 1859, that a daring thirty-five-year-old illiterate ranchero named Juan Nepomuceno Cortina sent shockwaves throughout Texas by brazenly leading some seventy-five angry raiders into the dung-splattered streets of Brownsville. Tired of a clique of Brownsville attorneys, resentful of men he accused of killing tejanos with impunity, and determined to settle a blood feud with bitter enemy Adolphus Glavecke, Cortina initiated a war that would reverberate north to Austin and beyond to the halls of Washington and Mexico City.Fifty Miles and a Fight magnifies the brutal nature of the Texas Rangers, a portrayal not readily evident in other sources. Not only does Heintzelman, who was placed in command of the Brownsville Expedition with orders to crush Cortina, record his disdain and distrust of the Rangers, but also their indiscriminate killing of both mexicanos and tejanos. Heintzelman's journal, which reads like a Zane Grey thriller, provides a detailed and vivid account of the battles at El Ebonal and Rio Grande City as well as glimpses into the filibustering activities of the shadowy Knights of the Golden Circle, who were hoping to expand the Cortina War into a larger conflict that would lead to the eventual annexation of Mexico and the creation of a slave empire south of the Rio Grande. Heintzelman's impressions of his senior commander, Col. Robert E. Lee, are also noteworthy.A real jewel of soldiering on the Southwestern frontier, Heintzelman's journal begins on a sunny and optimistic New Orleans day, April 17, 1859, with his family on its way to Texas, and ends on a depressingly cool and overcast December 31, 1861, also in the Crescent City, with secession fever sweeping the South and the nation on the verge of war.

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By Jerry D. Thompson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Fort Concho: A History and a Guide

In the fall of 1867 the United States Army established a permanent camp on the plateau where the North and Middle Concho rivers join. For centuries, this high open plateau had remained barren except for passing expeditions or Native American hunting parties. The establishment of Fort Concho provided a vital link in the line of frontier defense and led to the development of the town of San Angelo across the North Concho River from the military post.In more than twenty years of federal service, Fort Concho was home to companies of fifteen regiments in the regular United States Army, including Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's Fourth Cavalry and Col. Benjamin Grierson's Tenth Cavalry of buffalo soldiers. The post provided a focal point for major campaigns against the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches. Patrols from Fort Concho charted vast areas of western Texas and provided a climate for settlement on the Texas frontier. Today Fort Concho stands restored, thanks to numerous preservation efforts, as a memorial to all the peoples who struggled to survive on the plateau where the rivers join.Fort Concho: A History and a Guide by James T. Matthews has been hailed by Fort Concho director Bob Bluthardt as "the first book on the history of the fort in fifty years." Fort Concho is another title in the Texas State Historical Association's Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series, which publishes short books about important historical sites or events in Texas history.Number Eighteen: Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series

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By James T. Matthews

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Fort Davis: Outpost on the Texas Frontier

This engaging, illustrated history of Fort Davis, one of the U.S. Army's most important western posts, relates the exciting history of Trans-Pecos Texas--the far western reaches off the state. Wooster traces the history of this Davis Mountains region from the days when Indians and later Spaniards and Mexicans inhabited the area, through its days as the site of Texan and American interests. The establishment and construction of Fort Davis in the mid-1850s tells the story of one of the army's largest western posts. We learn about the famous army camels which Secretary of War Jefferson Davis brought to the area, with Fort Davis serving as a base of operations, and about the difficult conditions imposed on the army by weather, climate, and Indians, Evacuated by the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Davis later was occupied by Texas state troops, then briefly reoccupied by the Federals. After the war, the War Department began shifting regular army units back to the western frontiers. Among these units were each of the famous black regiments, many of them composed of former slaves who proved to be excellent soldiers. The details of daily life--food, clothing, social activities, weapons, medical care--are thoroughly discussed, as are the often ineffective campaigns against Indians.Robert Wooster skillfully uses the forty-year history of Fort Davis to provide a clear window into the frontier military experience and into nineteenth-century American society. Because of its black soldiers, and its large Mexican-American civilian community, Fort Davis is a prime resource for studying and understanding the stratified racial relations which accompanied the army's and the nation's westward expansion.

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Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Fort Lancaster: Texas Frontier Sentinel

Today Fort Lancaster sits as a ghostly ruin in west Texas, far removed from any major highway. However, this frontier post once played a major role in the protection of the primary southern route to California after the discovery of gold. Built along Live Oak Creek near the junction with the Pecos, Fort Lancaster was established in 1855 as one of a chain of posts along the Military Road from San Antonio to El Paso. Until the establishment of Fort Stockton by troops from Fort Lancaster, this was the only garrison between Fort Clark and Fort Davis.Manned by only one of two companies of the First Infantry, Fort Lancaster was one of the most isolated posts in Texas. The only civilian presence was a sutler and a stage stop for the overland mail. Maintaining the post, patrolling and protecting the road and occasional contact with Indians made up most of the routine. Official inspections, the arrival of the camel expedition, the passage of the Regiment of Mounted Rifles, and several pitched fights with Apaches added spice to an otherwise predictable existence.The history of Fort Lancaster is not one of great men or great events. It is the story of the commonplace life of soldiers on the isolated American frontier during a time when communications relied upon horse and wagon, and the road they guarded was the vital link to California. Remote, poorly constructed, and inadequately garrisoned, Fort Lancaster stands as an excellent example of the typical frontier post in the pre-Civil War era.Today Fort Lancaster is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife as a State Historic Park. As isolated today as it was when active, the atmospheric ruins of Fort Lancaster are a stark reminder of Army life on the Texas frontier.

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By Lawrence J. Francell

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Fort Worth: A Texas Original!

Fort Worth has been called "the City Where the West Begins," "Cowtown," and the silent partner in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. None of these descriptions quite tells the story of this city and its people. Since its founding in the mid-nineteenth century as a military outpost, Fort Worth has gone through many phases--cattle, oil, aviation, and tourist. The little village on the Trinity has grown up to become a global city that is a melting pot of economic forces and diverse cultures.At its most basic, Fort Worth's history is the story of leadership, of how men and women of vision built a flourishing community at a river crossing on the north Texas plains. Through troubled times--the 1850s, the Civil War, the 1930s, the 1970s--the leadership kept its eye on the future. The city pulled itself through the down times--and put itself on the map--by visionary projects like the railroad, the Spring Palace, the Stockyards, Camp Bowie, the Bomber Plant, and Sundance Square. This book helps to put a modern face on Fort Worth, move it out of the shadow of Dallas, and place it firmly in the twenty-first century.The book is illustrated with many historic photographs, including: a pair of Wichita Indians; Main Street in old Fort Worth; the current Tarrant County Courthouse, under construction in 1895; Fort Worth Medical College, opening in 1893 as just the third medical school in Texas; Fort Worth's Meacham Field in its early years (ca. 1926) and Meacham field in 1937; the Boeing B-29 and the Convair B-36 side by side at Carswell Air Force Base; Pig Stand drive-ins; the Fort Worth Cats and their opponents, the Memphis Chicks; the Light Crust Doughboys Western swing band in the 1940s; Six Flags over Texas; the "Bombardier 500" race; William B. McDonald, successful African American businessman and political leader; the Woman's Wednesday Club in its weekly luncheon meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel, 1918; the flood of 1949; Sundance Square, looking west across Main Street in the 1980s; and African American drover Chester Stidham with the "Fort Worth Herd" of longhorns.Also enlivening the text are various sidebars giving detailed information about "Fort Worth's Most Historic Cemeteries," "Courthouse Square," "The Cultural District," "Sundance Square," and "The Historic North Side."

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By Richard F. Selcer

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Galveston: A History and a Guide

Indians! Pirates! Rebels! Blockade Runners! Smugglers! Murder! Beaches! Beauty Contests! Hurricanes!These are all a part of the colorful history of an island city that once called itself "The Free State of Galveston." Located at a natural harbor on the northeastern part of a thirty-mile-long sand barrier island, the city dates its beginning from the end of the Texas Revolution. Before then, the harbor had attracted Jean Lafitte, a pirate from Louisiana, and the revolutionary Texan government fleeing in front of the attack of Santa Anna’s Mexican Army.After independence in 1836, Michel B. Menard, along with nine associates, bought the harbor property and founded the town. Galveston grew on the strength of the harbor--the best between New Orleans and Veracruz--and the city became a major entry point for immigrants to Texas. During the Civil War it was a haven for Confederate blockade runners and the site of one of the major battles of the war in Texas. Afterward it was a center for occupation forces and the point from which Major-General Gordon Granger announced emancipation for Texas slaves on June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth Day). The city later became a major cotton port for the Southwest and the location of the University of Texas Medical School.In 1900 Galveston was struck by a hurricane and flood that killed approximately six thousand people: the greatest disaster in the history of the United States. Afterward, the citizens built a sea wall, raised the grade of the island, and constructed a causeway for future protection. The city led the way with a commission form of government, and in the first half of the twentieth century, became noted for its illegal drinking, gambling, and prostitution.After the Texas Rangers cleaned it up, Galveston developed into a tourist town with its attractions of the beach, hotels, celebrations, and fishing. Historic preservation projects such as houses, buildings, museums, and the square-rigged ship Elissa completed its evolution.This authoritative and well-written history of Galveston provides an overview of the city’s rich and colorful past and provides readers, researchers, and tourists with information about today’s historical points of interest. Galveston: A History and a Guide is a delightful read and a useful traveling companion.

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By David G. McComb

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

General Vicente Filisola's Analysis of Jose Urrea's Military Diary: A Forgotten 1838 Publication by an Eyewitness to the Texas Revolution

Gen. Vicente Filisola was second in command of the Mexican army in Texas during the Revolution. After the defeat of Gen. José López de Santa Anna by Sam Houston’s Texans at San Jacinto, Filisola became commander-in-chief of the four thousand Mexican soldiers that remained in Texas. The Mexican army eventually retreated to Matamoros, Mexico, and Filisola became the scapegoat for all that went wrong in the campaign in Texas. His chief accuser in this disastrous action was Gen. José Cosme Urrea, commander of one of the Mexican divisions in the campaign. After reading this fascinating account of the Mexican army in Texas, readers may well need to reevaluate their opinions of the Mexican army’s generals. In spite of the fact that the work is obviously biased and at times blatantly unfair, Filisola makes valid points that will make one wonder if Urrea deserves the high respect that has been generally accorded him by Texan scholars.

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By Gregg Dimmick

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Handbook of Texas Music: Second Edition

The musical voice of Texas presents itself as vast and diverse as the Lone Star State's landscape. According to Casey Monahan, Director of the Texas Music Office, "To travel Texas with music as your guide is a year-round opportunity to experience first-hand this amazing cultural force". Texas music offers a vibrant and enjoyable experience through which to understand and enjoy Texas culture." Building on the work of The Handbook of Texas Music that was published in 2003 and in partnership with the Texas Music Office of the Governor and the Center for Texas Music History (Texas State University-San Marcos), The Handbook of Texas Music, Second Edition, offers completely updated entries and features new and expanded coverage of the musicians, ensembles, dance halls, festivals, businesses, orchestras, organizations, and genres that have helped define the state's musical legacy.

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By Laurie E. Jasinski

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

I Would Rather Sleep in Texas: A History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the People of the Santa Anita Land Grant

This superb work of history tells the story of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the people who struggled to make this daunting land their home. Spanish conquistadors and Mexican revolutionaries, cowboys and ranchers, Texas Rangers and Civil War generals, entrepreneurs and empire builders are all a part of this centuries-long saga, thoroughly researched and skillfully presented here.Steamboats used the inland waterway as a major transport route, and fortunes were made when the river served as the Confederacy’s only outlet for money and munitions. Mexican presidents and revolutionaries, European empires and investors, American cattle kings and entrepreneurs all considered this river frontier crucial. Men, women, and beasts braved the unforgiving climate of this land, and its cattle and cowboys gave rise to the great cattle drives up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas. It was and remains a crossroads of international cultures.In this moving account of the history of the families of the Santa Anita land grant, almost two hundred years of the history of the lower Rio Grande Valley (1748-1940) are revealed. An important addition to any collection of Texas history, I Would Rather Sleep in Texas is one of the most complete studies of the lower Rio Grande, abundantly illustrated with maps and photographs, many never before published.In 1790 the Santa Anita, a Spanish land grant, was awarded to merchant José Manuel Gómez. After the land passed to Gómez’s widow, part of the grant was acquired by María Salomé Ballí, the daughter of a powerful Spanish clan. Salomé Ballí married Scotsman John Young, and her family connections combined with his business acumen helped to further assemble the Santa Anita under one owner.In 1859, after Young’s death, Salomé struggled to hold onto her properties amid bandit raids and the siege of violence waged in the region by borderland caudillo Juan Nepomuceno Cortina. Soon after the beginning of the Civil War, she married Scotch- Irish immigrant John McAllen. They participated in the rapid wartime cotton trade through Matamoros and had business associations with a group of men--Mifflin Kenedy, Richard King, Charles Stillman, and Francisco Yturria--who made fortunes that influenced businesses nationwide. Rare firsthand accounts by Salomé Ballí Young de McAllen, John McAllen, and their son, James Ballí McAllen, add to a deeper understanding of the blending of the region’s frontier cultures, rowdy politics, and periodic violence.All the while, the Santa Anita remained the cornerstone of the business and stability of this family. As the lower Rio Grande Valley moved into the modern era, land speculation led economic activity from 1890 through 1910. The construction of railroads brought improved means for transportation and new towns, including McAllen, Texas, in 1905. The book’s ending reveals how, in 1915, Mexican warfare again spilled over the banks of the Rio Grande with deadly results, tragically affecting this family for the next twenty-five years. I Would Rather Sleep in Texas tells a remarkable story that covers a broad sweep of Texas and borderlands history.

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Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America

Illustrations, one of the rarest books on American birds, established John Cassin (1813-1869) as the leading American ornithologist of his day. Now, in a superb facsimile edition from Wind River Press, Illustrations is available for less than the original subscription price nearly 140 years ago. Its value is enhanced by a new introduction by Robert McCracken Peck, who provides the first comprehensive biography of Cassin.

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By John Cassin

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

John Charles Beales's Rio Grande Colony: Letters by Eduard Ludecus, a German Colonist, to Friends in Germany in 1833–1834

This collection of letters, written by a young German colonist in Dr. John Charles Beales's ill-fated colony Dolores, provides an almost daily account of the colonists' journey to the Rio Grande from New York City harbor and their labors to establish a settlement there on Las Moras Creek. Ludecus recounts in his letters the colonists' efforts to provide protection from Indian attacks by constructing around the settlement a high, thorny barrier of mesquite branches and cactus cleared from the land they wished to plant. He narrates how the carpenters among the colonists fashioned a cannon of oak which they successfully fired once to warn off hostile Indians in the area. His record of life in the colony emphasizes the deprivation suffered by the colonists. From the day of their arrival at the colony site to the day most of the colonists abandoned the settlement in desperation, Ludecus's letters are filled with descriptions of the colonists’ hardships and frustration as they tried to cope with an almost total lack of stone and timber in the vicinity of Dolores for constructing houses, outbuildings, and fencing around their young crops.Eduard Ludecus's letters are also an important source of valuable information about life and culture in pre-revolutionary Texas. His letters are but one of a handful of eyewitness reports about the early Texas frontier. His observations are those of a young, well-educated German merchant who had traveled from the urbane environment of Weimar, the center of art and literature in Germany in the early nineteenth century, to the raw, hostile environment of Texas. As a result, many of his remarks seem to have been recorded in wide-eyed awe of his new environment.Ludecus's letters are written with a vivid directness often lacking in the recollections of such well-known narrators as John C. Duval, Noah Smithwick, and John Holland Jenkins. Ludecus's narrative style is so vivid, so lively that the reader often feels as if he were sharing the narrator's experiences and observations not as a reader, but as a companion.

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By Louis E. Brister

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .