Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 by Joseph Milton Nance

Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842

byJoseph Milton Nance

Paperback | March 1, 2011

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It is 1842—a dramatic year in the history of Texas-Mexican relations. After five years of uneasy peace, of futile negotiations, of border raids and temporary, unofficial truces, a series of military actions upsets the precarious balance between the two countries. Once more the Mexican Army marches on Texas soil; once more the frontier settlers strengthen their strongholds for defense or gather their belongings for flight. Twice San Antonio falls to Mexican generals; twice the Texans assemble armies for the invasion of Mexico. It is 1842—a year of attack and counterattack.

This is the story that Joseph Milton Nance relates, with a definitiveness and immediacy which come from many years of meticulous research. The exciting story of 1842 is a story of emotions which had simmered through the long, insecure years and which now boil out in blustery threats and demands for vengeance. The Texans threaten to march beyond the Sierra Madres and raise their flag at Monterrey; the Mexicans promise to subdue this upstart Texas and to teach its treacherous inhabitants their place. With communications poor and imaginations fertile, rumors magnify chance banditry into military raids, military raids into full-scale invasions. Newspapers incite their readers with superdramatic, intoxicating accounts of the events. Texans and Mexicans alike respond with a kind of madness that has little or no method. Texas solicits volunteers, calls out troops, plans invasions, and assembles her armies, completely disregarding the fact that her treasury is practically empty—there is little money to buy guns. Meanwhile, in Mexico, where gold and silver are needed for other purposes, "invasions" of Texas are launched—but they are only brief forays more suitable for impressive publicity than for permanent gains.

Still, the conflicts of threat and retaliation, so often futile, are frequently dignified by idealism, friendship, courage, and determination. Both Mexicans and Texans are fighting and dying for liberty, defending their homes against foreign invaders, establishing and maintaining friendships that cross racial and national boundaries, struggling with conflicting loyalties, and—all the while—striving to wrest a living for themselves and their families from the grudging frontier.

Attack and Counterattack, continuing the account which was begun in After San Jacinto, tells from original sources the full story of Texas-Mexican relations from the time of the Santa Fe Expedition through the return of the Somervell Expedition from the Rio Grande. These books examine in great detail and with careful accuracy a period of Texas history that had not heretofore been thoroughly studied and that had seldom been given unbiased treatment. The source materials compiled in the notes and bibliography—particularly the military reports, letters, diaries, contemporary newspapers, and broadsides—will be a valuable tool for any scholar who wishes to study this or related periods.

About The Author

Joseph Milton Nance (1913–1997) was Professor of History at Texas A&M University.
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Details & Specs

Title:Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842Format:PaperbackDimensions:764 pages, 9 × 6 × 2 inPublished:March 1, 2011Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292729375

ISBN - 13:9780292729377

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Table of Contents

PrefacePrologue1. The Vasquez Raid2. The Withdrawal of Texan Military Forces from San Antonio3. The Mexican Advance along the Lower Route4. The Withdrawal of Vasquez5. Texans Rally To Defend the Frontier6. Houston Assumes the Offensive To Appease Texans7. Preparing the Navy for Offensive Operations8. Recruitment of Men and Supplies from the United States9. The Army on the Frontier10. The Failure of the Republic’s Efforts To Fit Out an Invading Army11. The Battle of Lipantitlán12. The “War Bill”13. Conditions on the Texas-Mexican Frontier during the Late Summer, 184214. The Mexicans Again Seize San Antonio15. The Battle of Salado16. The Dawson Fight17. Woll’s Withdrawal from Texas18. Defensive Preparations and the Clamor for Offensive Operations19. Assembling of an Army at San Antonio20. The March of the Somervell Expedition to Laredo21. The Capture and Plunder of Laredo22. The March to Guerrero23. The Capture of Guerrero24. Somervell Marches HomeEpilogueAppendicesBibliographyA. Primary Sources1. Public Documentsa. Manuscriptsb. Printed Material2. Private Papers, Letters, and Memoirsa. Manuscripts and Typescriptsb. Printed Material3. Maps4. NewspapersB. Secondary Sources1. Manuscripts and Typescripts2. Printed Materiala. Booksb. Articles and PeriodicalsIndex