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Tarleton historian’s book receives honors

Oct. 15, 2008

THURBER, TEXAS—Tarleton State University history professor T. Lindsay Baker’s book, “Confederate Guerrilla: The Civil War Memoir of Joseph M. Bailey,” was recently recognized by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. The organization presented the book’s publisher, University of Arkansas Press, with the Basil W. Duke Award and a $1,000 prize.

The book is based on the annotated memoirs of Joseph M. Bailey, an Arkansan who fought both as a regular soldier in the Confederate Army and also as a guerrilla. The bulk of the memoir focuses on 1863-64, during which time Bailey served with other irregular Confederate fighters behind federal lines in Union-occupied northwestern Arkansas.

He participated in brutal engagements. Most of the attacks were by ambush, few prisoners were taken, civilians were burned out of their homes and throat slitting was commonplace.

Baker located Bailey’s remarkable memoir in the Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy archive collections. Baker eventually found four additional unpublished versions of the remembrances, editing them into this one annotated volume released in 2007.

The Military Order of the Stars and Bars presents a book each year with the Basil W. Duke Award. The prize recognizes the publisher that reissues the best work in Confederate history each year. The organization consists of male descendants of Confederate commissioned officers and of elected or appointed members of the executive branch of the Confederate government.

In addition to holding the W.K. Gordon Endowed Chair and teaching history courses at Tarleton, Baker directs the W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas. This museum and research center operates at the Thurber ghost town located about halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene at exit 367 on Interstate 20. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Monday. For more information, call (254) 968-1886.


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