Vandiver, Frank E

Author: Frank E Vandiver
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; Reprint edition
ISBN: 978-0890967058
Copyright: February 1, 1996
Pages: 424

Had Henry Hopkins Sibley and his Confederate army troops succeeded in capturing New Mexico from the Federals, author Jerry Thompson argues, "the entire history of the Southern Confederacy might have been radically altered." In Confederate General of the West, Thompson portrays the life and career of a soldier whose character flaws and leadership weaknesses stood in stark contrast to his sometime military successes and mechanical ingenuity. A veteran of the Mexican-American War, Sibley served in Texas from 1850 to 1855, moving west with his regiment to Kansas and then joining the 1857 Utah Expedition. By the end of 1859 he had moved on to the New Mexico Territory. When the Civil War broke out, Jefferson Davis appointed him to lead an expeditionary force from Texas to seize New Mexico, Colorado, and California. He won a controversial Confederate victory at the Battle of Valverde in 1862—controversial because of his own disreputable performance. In the spring of that year, after defeat at Glorieta Pass, he retreated in disgrace from New Mexico into west Texas and later faced court-martial for his inadequate and often drunken leadership. A later mercenary stint in the Egyptian army also ended for similar reasons. Civil War scholars, students, and enthusiasts will welcome this new paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

"I strongly recommend Thompson's highly readable biography. It furnishes valuable views on New Mexico in the middle 19th century."--Marc Simmons

Books by the Author

Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing

Confederate General of the West: Henry Hopkins Sibley

Mighty Stonewall

Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance

Their Tattered Flags: The Epic of the Confederacy