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Texian Exodus: Coming December 2, 2024

Texian Exodus: The Runaway Scrape and Its Enduring Legacy
Hardcover | Kindle – December 2, 2024
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A narrative account of the evacuation of the Texians in 1836, which was redeemed by the defeat of the Mexican army and the creation of the Republic of Texas.

Two events in Texas history shine so brightly that they can be almost blinding: the stand at the Alamo and the redemption at San Jacinto, where General Sam Houston’s volunteers won the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. But these milestones came amid a less obviously heroic episode now studiously forgotten—the refugee crisis known as the Runaway Scrape.

Propulsive, lyrical, and richly illustrated, Texian Exodus transports us to the frigid, sodden spring of 1836, when thousands of Texians—Anglo-American settlers—fled eastward for the United States in fear of Antonio López de Santa Anna’s advancing Mexican army. Leading Texas historian Stephen L. Hardin draws on the accounts of the runaways themselves to relate a tale of high stakes and great sorrow. While Houston tried to build a force that could defeat Santa Anna, the evacuees suffered incalculable pain and suffering. Yet dignity and community were not among the losses. If many of the stories are indeed tragic, the experience as a whole was no tragedy; survivors regarded the Runaway Scrape as their finest hour, an ordeal met with cooperation and courage. For Hardin, such qualities still define the Texas character. That it was forged in retreat as well in battle makes the Runaway Scrape essential Texas history.

Books | Currently in Print

Lust for Glory: An Epic Story of Early Texas and the Sacrifice That Defined a Nation.
Paperback – November 15, 2018. State House Press
•Summerfield G. Roberts Award | Sons of the Republic of Texas

This book is a concise, reader- friendly depiction of the “Heroic Age” of Texas history. Employing short, episodic chapters, it explores the twenty-five years between 1821 and 1846. Certainly one of the most eventful eras, it included Mexican independence, Anglo American settlement, the “Come-and-Take-It” fight, Battle of the Alamo, Goliad Massacre, victory at San Jacinto, and the decade of the Texas Republic that culminated in statehood. Extraordinary figures like Stephen F. Austin, William Barret Travis, Sam Houston, and his long-suffering wife, Margaret, come alive on the page. Skillfully conceived and masterfully written, Lust for Glory flows with a style as passionate and exuberant as the place and the people it describes.

Buy online at Amazon

Texian Macabre: A Melancholy Tale of a Hanging in Early Houston
Paperback – May 3, 2013
Illustrations by Gary Zaboly

It is an astonishing tale peopled by remarkable characters: the one-armed newspaper editor and political candidate who employs the crime to advance his sanctimonious agenda; the Kentucky lawyer who enjoys champagne breakfasts and collecting human skulls; the German immigrant who sees rats gnaw the finger off an infant lying in his cradle; the Alamo widow whose circumstances force her to practice the oldest profession; the sociopathic physician who slaughters an innocent man in a duel; the Methodist minister horrified by the drunken debaucheries of government officials; and the president himself—the Sword of San Jacinto— who during a besotted bacchanal strips to his underwear.

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The Alamo 1836: Santa Anna’s Texas Campaign (Campaign, 89).
Paperback – September 24, 2001. Osprey Publishing
Illustrated by Angus McBride

An examination of the Battle of Alamo (1836), which was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution (1835-1836). On the morning of 6 March 1836 around 1,100 Mexican soldiers under Generalissimo Santa Anna stormed a small mission outside San Antonio, Texas, and slaughtered the garrison of around 200 Texans. It was not a large battle but its significance vastly outweighed its size for the name of the mission was the Alamo. Less than two months later Santa Anna’s force was smashed at San Jacinto by a volunteer army whose battle cry was “Remember the Alamo”. Stephen L Hardin details the climactic 1836 campaign which won Texas her independence.

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Lone Star: The Republic of Texas 1836-1846
Paperback – University Enterprises, Ltd. September 1, 1998.
Compiled and Edited by Stephen L. Hardin.

Award-winning Texas historian Stephen L. Hardin provides an excellent overview of the Republic of Texas. In 1836, when Texas won its independence from Mexico, many expected the Republic of Texas to join the Union immediately. Four American presidents and a decade later, the Texas Lone Star flag was lowered and the Stars and Stripes raised. The annexation resulted in concessions to Texas not made to other states. Diary entries, letters, political speeches, and congressional resolutions give insight into this period of Texas and American history.

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Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution
Paperback – 1996.
Illustrations by Gary Zaboly

  • Winner, T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award Texas Historical Commission
  • Summerfield G. Roberts Award | Sons of the Republic of Texas
  • Honorable Mention, Certificate of Commendation, American Association for State and Local History

Hardly were the last shots fired at the Alamo before the Texas Revolution entered the realm of myth and controversy. French visitor Frederic Gaillardet called it a “Texian Iliad” in 1839, while American Theodore Sedgwick pronounced the war and its resulting legends “almost burlesque.” In this highly readable history, Stephen L. Hardin discovers more than a little truth in both of those views. Drawing on many original Texan and Mexican sources and on-site inspections of almost every battlefield, he offers the first complete military history of the Revolution. From the war’s opening in the “Come and Take It” incident at Gonzales to the capture of General Santa Anna at San Jacinto, Hardin clearly describes the strategy and tactics of each side. His research yields new knowledge of the actions of famous Texan and Mexican leaders, as well as fascinating descriptions of battle and camp life from the ordinary soldier’s point of view.

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The Texas Rangers
Paperback – September 26, 1991. Osprey Publishing
Illustrated by Richard Hook.

The Texas Ranger is one of the most cherished symbols of the Lone Star State. While the Alamo is the undisputed symbol of Texas, the Ranger stands as an enduring symbol of the people of Texas. The Rangers were first formed to protect their neighbours from Indian attack, later they fought and died in a war for freedom, and staved off foreign invasion. Some Rangers died with glory at the Battle of the Alamo (1836), while many more were wounded, or died, in anonymity at dozens of obscure places. This volume by Dr Stephen L Hardin charts the history of this remarkable force from the 1820s through to the present day.