Review: Blood and Treasure

BLOOD AND TREASURE (Texas A&M University Military History Series, No 41)
by Donald S. Frazier

Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (February 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890967326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890967324

We do not have enough books on the American Civil War in the far west.  The battles of Val Verde, Glorieta Pass and Peralta are not familiar names to most of us.  We cannot name the commanders or detail the fighting.  That has always been the case and I do not think it will be changing soon.  Finding Donald S. Frazier has been a major event for me.   First, I am a sucker for small campaign and small battle books.  Second, I want to learn more about the issues, fighting and personalities involved with the war in the southwest.  Lastly, I always like finding a good readable author of Civil War History.  Mr. Frazier is a professor of history and the author of a number of articles on the history of the southwest.  His books are well researched, correctly footnoted, informative and easy to read.

“Blood & Treasure” is a campaign study of the 1862 Confederate attempt to conquer what is now New Mexico & Arizona.  The United States had stripped the area, leaving things open to a CSA incursion and Indian raids.  This is a detailed study of the development of the plans, the campaign and the aftermath.  Throughout, the author maintains the right level of detail and readability.  We never are bogged down in mind numbing details but we do not lose sight of the people involved.  Small campaigns and battle turn on people.  The author never loses sight of this and keeps several individual’s experiences in the forefront.

This excellent campaign study covers internal politics, relationships between the Whites and Mexicans and problems of equipping and supplying armies over long distances.  The battles presented in “real time” and detailed.  We understand the issues and easily grasp the tactical situations.  Maps are sufficient but not generous.  This book won The Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá Award— for an outstanding publication by an individual from the Historical Society of New Mexico.

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