cover of book

Violence in the Hill Country: The Texas Frontier in the Civil War Era
by Nicholas Keefauver Roland
University of Texas Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2175-1 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2177-5
Library of Congress Classification F392.T47R65 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.405


In the nineteenth century, Texas’s advancing western frontier was the site of one of America’s longest conflicts between white settlers and native peoples. The Texas Hill Country functioned as a kind of borderland within the larger borderland of Texas itself, a vast and fluid area where, during the Civil War, the slaveholding South and the nominally free-labor West collided. As in many borderlands, Nicholas Roland argues, the Hill Country was marked by violence, as one set of peoples, states, and systems eventually displaced others.

In this painstakingly researched book, Roland analyzes patterns of violence in the Texas Hill Country to examine the cultural and political priorities of white settlers and their interaction with the century-defining process of national integration and state-building in the Civil War era. He traces the role of violence in the region from the eve of the Civil War, through secession and the Indian wars, and into Reconstruction. Revealing a bitter history of warfare, criminality, divided communities, political violence, vengeance killings, and economic struggle, Roland positions the Texas Hill Country as emblematic of the Southwest of its time.

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