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Distant Bugles, Distant Drums: The Union Response to the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico Hardcover – June, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0870818356 ISBN-10: 087081835X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 293 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado; 1 edition (June 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087081835X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870818356
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,797,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"... [N]icely illustrated with fifty-three photographs, many of them never before published. [Whitlock] is an exceptionally good writer and anyone interested in the Civil War wil enjoy what he has to say." -- Western Historical Quarterly Western Historical Quarterly Western Historical Quarterly

"By focusing explicitly on the North's reaction to Confederate dreams of empire in the West, Flint Whitlock adds several new insights to historical knowledge of this increasingly well-publicized theater of the Civil War." -- Journal of Southern History

"While opening the floor to debate on the Southwest's importance, Distant Bugles, Distant Drums is worthwhile reading just for its cast of characters ...an equally wild and woolly read for Civil War or Western buff alike." -- Jon Guttman, Civil War Times, May 2007

"Whitlock's treatment of this much-neglected segment of Civil War history is laudable for any number of reasons, not the least of which is his fully comprehensive understanding and depiction of what might be best described as a comic opera with tragic overtones." -- Clay Reynolds, Texas Books in Review

About the Author

Military historian Flint Whitlock is the author of The Fighting First, Given Up for Dead, The Rock of Anzio, and Soldiers on Skis.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Mcdonald on November 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is frequently the case that accurate historical accounts and lively writing style are not to ne found in the same work. This is decididly not the case in Flint Whitlock's "Distant Bugles, Distant Drums." Whitlock has written a meticulously documented and entertaining account of a battle that has been described as "the Gettysburg of the West."
In 1862, a Confederate Army from Texas led by an alcoholic West Point graduate and inventor of note, Henry Hopkins Sibley, invaded New Mexico with an audacious plan to seize the Colorado gold fields and ultimately sever the western United States from the Union. His designs were thwarted by a larger-than-life Methodist preacher turned warrior named John Chivington. A combination of audacity and skill allowed Chivington to mount a successful rear guard attack against the Texan's supply train. Thus deprived of the essential stock of battle, the Confederates were forced to retreat ignominiously back to the Lone Star state.
Whitlock's account of the Battle of Glorieta pass makes extensive use of maps, photographs and diary entries from soldiers on both sides of the battle lines and includes lively, and occasionally amusing descriptions of battlefield action. The description of the "exploding mules" is laugh-out-loud funny.
I particularly enjoyed the post-battle follow-up on the fates of the major actors in this largely unknown Civil War encounter. Additionally, for those historians looking for opportunites to visit the sites associated with the Battle of Glorieta, Whitlock provides updated descriptions of all the different forts and locations that played a role in the "Gettysburg of the West." This is one terrific read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Coffey on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book in hopes that it would be a Union centric addition to my collection about the American Civil War in the Southwest. I was not disapointed.

It opens with a summary of the Mexican-American war that was in many ways a setup for the difficulties of the Southwest. Including the notable desire from the Texan's to implore their own Manifest Destiny all the way to the Pacific. The tale winds down to an end as tne Confederate's retreat back to Texas, and does not belabor the actions against the American Indians that were the remainder of the war for the New Mexico Territory's defenders.

The book does not include the muster rolls of the Federal Army, but does have a nice array of pictures, and quotes from individuals diary's and reports. I felt that the author ended the work in a superb fashion by discussing the "future" of each Fort and notable personality from the conflict. This work ends up as an invaluable summary of those people and places that are often not covered as concisely elsewhere.

This book also covers not just the needs of the historian, but also is useful for the historical reenactor portraying one of the Union Units on the conflict. It is even a good referance for a tabletop wargamer putting together a federal unit from the conflict - this work will give you a better feel of what you are working on.
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By Hayes Glen on August 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used the book extensively during a field study of the Battle of Glorieta Pass. It was extremely well written and extensive works cited allowed for follow-up study using primary sources. Even when conflicting accounts are given the author presents the facts in a manner that allows the reader to research and make up their own mind about what happened. Over all, the book is an excellent study of one of a little known but pivotal campaign during the American Civil War.
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