02/29/2012 09:25 AM
BATON ROUGE – John R. Lundberg’s 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, Brig. Gen. Hiram B. Granbury,
the brigade fought tenaciously in the western theater even after Confederate defeat
“Granbury’s Texas Brigade,” published in March by LSU Press, 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 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.
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.
Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012