We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War History is Dr. Andrew Masich for his book “Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands 1861-1867.” The Pate Award is given annually by the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table to honor the best book written on the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War during the past year. The Award winner is chosen by a Committee of Members of the Fort Worth Round Table.
In keeping with it’s title the book focuses on the Southwest Borderlands where not only did Union and Confederate forces clash but Indians, Hispanos, and Anglos struggled for survival, power, and dominance on both sides of the U.S.Mexico border. These conflicts are examined as interconnected civil wars with a detailed exploration of the war-making traditions of the region’s diverse peoples.
Indians, Hispanos, and Anglos brought their own weapons and tactics to the struggle, but they also shared many traditions. Before the war, the three groups engaged one another in cycles of raid and reprisal involving the taking of livestock and human captives, reflecting a peculiar mixture of conflict and interdependence.
One of the main purposes of the Pate Award is to further knowledge of the Civil War West of the Mississippi. Dr. Masich’s book is noteworthy in this regard in that it is based on original research in both American and Mexican archives and includes information from almost 700 rarely used Indian Depredation Records of the period.
In short, it is an excellent book – readable, informative, interesting and well deserving of the 2017 Pate Award.
Some reviews of the book include:
“Borderland studies are very popular at the moment. Many of the military and cultural interactions described in this book have been discussed and analyzed at length elsewhere in the literature, but Andrew Masich is the first scholar to create a powerful synthesis that meaningfully integrates all of these conflicts and relationships together in a single volume. His work in Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861–1867 freshly defines the American Civil War period as a uniquely critical moment of social, political, and economic transformation in the Southwest region of North America.”Andrew Wagenhofer – Civil War Books and Authors
“Andrew Masich presents a sweeping history of the violence that inflamed the Southwest Borderlands in the mid-1860s. Anglos, Indians, and Hispanics all engaged in what Masich terms civil wars. This is impressive scholarship: deeply researched, eminently readable, and rich in detail and interpretation.”Robert Utley – author of The Indian Frontier 1846-1890
Sweeping in scale yet finally-grained in detail, Andrew Masich delivers a convincing new way of thinking about the “Civil Wars” that devastated the Southwest Borderlands between 1861 and 1867. Masich brings alive the stench of sweat, the urgent song of swift arrows, and the concussion of field artillery, all the while raising our sights to the bloody ironies of “pacification” and political incorporation. He is a masterful story-teller, whose skills have quickened a deserving story.
James F. Brooks , author of Captives & Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands, and Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre.