@Book{ marten1990,
	author = {James Marten},
	title = {Texas Divided: Loyalty and Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856--1874},
	address = {Lexington},
	publisher = {University Press of Kentucky},
	year = 1990,}


p. 1: opening sentence captures what seems to be the prevailing consensus among historians:

The Civil War hardly scratched the Confederate state of Texas. Thousands of Texans died on battlefields hundreds of miles to the east, of course, but the war did not destroy Texas’ farms or plantations or her few miles of railroads. Her long border with Mexico neutralized the effect of the federal blockade on Texas, and the battles fought inside her borders were mere skirmishes compared to the sanguinary struggles in Virginia and Tennessee.

Marten uses this backdrop to argue that the only real threats to Confederate Texas came from within. Here, more than in any other Southern state, domestic struggle overshadowed the war itself. This dissent and domestic struggle carried over into Reconstruction as well.

For Marten, dissent encompasses those who opposed secession for principled reasons as well as those “whose ‘disloyalty’ to the South and to Texas stemmed from deeper, cultural origins, or, contradictorily, from shallow reasons of self-interest or simple lack of interest” (3). (A review by Stephen Ash argues that this definition is too capacious to be analytically useful.)

Chapter 2

Dissenters chose from a range of survival strategies during the war: “Some reluctantly joined the Confederate cause, others defied the rebels and actively worked for a Union victory, while many simply kept their heads down and stayed out of the way of their local vigilance committees and provost marshalls” (32).

Chapter 4

p. 59: “Unionists paid the true price of Confederate vigilance, and vigilantes struck often enough to keep the possibility of retribution before every Texas dissenter.” Most Unionists who met violent ends did so, however, at the hands of “mobs or individuals who acted without any authority beyond that sanctioned by community standards and attitudes.”

Chapter 5

In this chapter Marten discusses “speculators, deserters, and bandits” together, all of whom were characterized, in terms of his study, as sources of weakness in the Confederate cause and as people who “compromise[d] their loyalty to the Confederacy” (86-87).

… many southerners withdrew whatever support they had given to the Confederacy and retreated into a neutrality or nonivolvement that Confederate officials defined as disloyalty. Those same conditions encouraged many forms of economic disloyalty on the home front—depreciating Confederate currency, trading with the enemy, speculating in coton or any other commodity—and led to the high rates of desertion and draft evasion that plagued Confederate, state militia, and home guard units. Some members of this extremely disparate group based their actions on a foundation of Unionism … or after opportunities for economic gains or self-preservation led them to compromise their loyalty to the Confederacy. That they succumbed to weakness, weariness, greed, or even common sense, showed just how precarious was the unity with which the South had gone to war in 1861 (pp. 86-87).

His focus is on how “these enemies undermined the Confederate war effort from within” (87). But not all “pragmatists, opportunists, and shirkers” were classified by their contemporaries as enemies either, and “although refugees and other citizens with suspect loyalties frequently endured vicious rhetorical attacks, they were seldom exposed to any physical violence and sometimes managed to win acceptance” (87).

On p. 89ff, Marten focuses on the suspicions of disloyalty often aroused by Refugees to Texas, and on speculators who were, it was thought, profiting from extortionary prices or refusing to accept Confederate currency.

For Marten, entrepreneurs like William Marsh Rice were people “whose financial opportunism outweighed their loyalty to the South” (93)—seemingly counterposing financial gain during the war with political loyalty.