Granbury's Texas Brigade
Diehard Western Confederates
John R. Lundberg
Winner of the A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History
Narrated by James McSorley
Approximately 10.5 hours
Book published by Louisiana State University Press
John R. Lundberg’s compelling new military history chronicles the evolution of Granbury’s Texas Brigade, perhaps the most distinguished combat unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Named for its commanding officer, Brigadier General Hiram B. Granbury, the brigade fought tenaciously in the western theater even after Confederate defeat seemed certain. Granbury’s Texas Brigade explores the motivations behind the unit’s decision to continue to fight, even as it faced demoralizing defeats and Confederate collapse. Using a vast array of letters, diaries, and regimental documents, Lundberg’s study offers provocative insight into the minds of the unit’s men and commanders. The caliber of that leadership, he concludes, led to the group’s overall high morale.
Lundberg asserts that although mass desertion rocked Granbury’s Brigade early in the war, that desertion did not necessarily indicate a lack of commitment to the Confederacy but merely a desire to fight the enemy closer to home. Those who remained in the ranks became the core of Granbury’s Brigade and fought until the final surrender. Morale declined only after Union bullets cut down much of the unit’s officer corps at the Battle of Franklin in 1864.
After the war, Lundberg shows, men from the unit did not abandon the ideals of the Confederacy—they simply continued their devotion in different ways. Granbury’s Texas Brigade presents military history at its best, revealing a microcosm of the Confederate war effort and aiding our understanding of the reasons men felt compelled to fight in America’s greatest tragedy.
John R. Lundberg is the author of The Finishing Stroke: Texans in the 1864 Tennessee Campaign as well as many articles on Texas and Civil War history. He currently teaches history at Collin College in Plano, Texas.
“Granbury’s Brigade formed from Texas regiments that earlier endured scorn for surrendering at Fort Donelson and Arkansas Post, emerging from the killing fields at Chickamauga to forge an enduring legacy as some of the hardest-fighting troops in the Army of Tennessee. Despite horrific casualties, these men from all over Texas won countless small battles in the losing campaign for Atlanta before more than half of them fell at Franklin. This is the first detailed, analytical history of the brigade, and as such it more than pays homage to the memory of these diehard Texans. The author mixes extensive research with strong opinions to provide thoughtful insights for both laymen and scholars. He thus places the history of Granbury’s Brigade squarely within the historical debate over such issues as Confederate command in the west, desertion, and Confederate nationalism, to name but a few well-considered topics.”
—Richard B. McCaslin, author of Lee In the Shadow of Washington
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