Publications

Writing the history of Texas since 1897


TSHA Press

Over the course of 102 years, we have published books on nearly every era of Texas history. We typically release one to two books per year. Our most recent publications include:

The Old Army in Texas (Second Edition)

A classic work in Texas military history, The Old Army in Texas is now available in paperback with a new foreword by Robert Wooster. 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. The second part of this guide lists the departmental commanders, the location of the military headquarters, and the changes in the administrative organization and military titles for Texas. Part III provides a dictionary of 223 posts, forts, and camps in the state. The fourth part 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 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. 

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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By Thomas T. Smith and Robert A. Wooster

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Tejano Patriot

Art Martínez de Vara’s Tejano Patriot: The Revolutionary Life of José Francisco Ruiz, 1783–1840 is the first full-length biography of this important figure in Texas history. Best known as one of two Texas-born signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Ruiz’s significance extends far beyond that single event.  Born in San Antonio de Béxar to an upwardly mobile family, during the war for Mexican independence Ruiz underwent a dramatic transformation from a conservative royalist to one of the staunchest liberals of his era.

Steeped in the Spanish American liberal tradition, his revolutionary activity included participating in three uprisings, suppressing two others, and enduring extreme personal sacrifice for the liberal republican cause. He was widely respected as an intermediary between Tejanos and American Indians, especially the Comanches. As a diplomat, he negotiated nearly a dozen peace treaties for Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas, and he traveled to the imperial court of Mexico as an agent of the Comanches to secure peace on the northern frontier. When Anglo settlers came by the thousands to Texas after 1820, he continued to be a cultural intermediary, forging a friendship with Stephen F. Austin, but he always put the interests of Béxar and his fellow Tejanos first.

Ruiz had a notable career as a military leader, diplomat, revolutionary, educator, attorney, arms dealer, author, ethnographer, politician, Indian agent, Texas ranger, city attorney, and Texas senator. He was a central figure in the saga that shaped Texas from a remote borderland on New Spain’s northern frontier to an independent republic.

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By Art Martínez de Vara

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Texas and World War I

On November 11, 1918, what was then called “the Great War” ended. The consequences of four years of warfare in Europe reverberated throughout the world, leaving few places untouched. Even though it was far from the scenes of conflict, Texas was forever changed, as historian Gregory W. Ball details in Texas and World War I.

This accessible history recounts the ways in which the war affected Texas and Texans politically, socially, and economically. Texas’s position on the United States border with Mexico and on the western edge of the American South profoundly influenced the ways in which the war affected the state, from fears of invasion from the across the Rio Grande—fears that put the state’s significant German American population under suspicion—to the racial tensions that flared when African American soldiers challenged Jim Crow.

When thousands of Texas men were drafted into the U.S. Army and the federal government developed a host of training grounds and airfields (many close to the state’s burgeoning cities) in response to U.S. entry into the war, this heavily rural state that had long been outside the national mainstream became more “American” than ever before.

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By Gregory W. Ball

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Watt Matthews of Lambshead

The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to offer a third edition of Watt Matthews of Lambshead, a major work of art and an important historical document. Since the first edition was published in 1989, Laura Wilson’s chronicle of this iconic ranch has proven to be a popular and important contribution to the story of Texas. In words and especially in Wilson’s starkly beautiful images, Watt Matthews of Lambshead captures a way of life that is iconically Texan, one now only available to a vanishing number of residents of the Lone Star State, where even rural landscapes are increasingly dominated by industrial activities like high-density feedlots and oil extraction. In The 50+ Best Books on Texas (1998), A. C. Greene wrote that “[Watt] Matthews … was the last living link with all the Texas cowboy and ranch mythology and lore from the 1850s.” The ranch has continued to operate after his death in 1997, and this edition includes an afterword that details recent developments. A new foreword by Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator emeritus of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, puts the book in the context of Wilson’s career as one of the most notable photographers of the contemporary American West.

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By Laura Wilson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas

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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By Thomas T. Smith

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .


Southwestern Historical Quarterly (SHQ)

Published since the founding of TSHA, the Southwestern Historical Quarterly is the premier journal on the history of Texas and the Southwest.


History eBooks

Sourced from the Handbook of Texas and Southwestern Historical Quarterly, these downloadable eBooks are a great introduction to different eras and people from Texas history.


TSHA Community

Books from members and past award recipients are included in the publications from the TSHA Community. Support the excellent work of these individuals and discover something new about Texas history.


Touchstone

Touchstone is the undergraduate research journal of the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, our college-level educational program.

Texas Historian

The Texas Historian is one of the few historical journals in the nation dedicated to publishing the work of secondary students in Texas.