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About these pages

Contents:   Viewing the online pages
Additional Material

Technical note on page images
Web page maintenance


The Texan victory in the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto created a temporary stalemate in the struggle for independence from Mexico. Internal conflicts preoccupied Mexico during the ensuing five years, giving Texas a chance to partially recover, although still financially destitute. The first president, Sam Houston, kept a defensive posture to avoid further conflict with Mexico, which Texas could not afford. Houston's successor, Mirabeau B. Lamar, took more aggressive action against Mexico. This earlier period is covered in Joseph Milton Nance's, AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963 (online).

The year 1841 saw President Lamar's Santa Fé Expedition end in bondage in New Mexico. This was an incursion Mexico could not ignore. Two old adversaries returned to power that year: Santa Anna in Mexico and Sam Houston in Texas, setting the stage for renewed conflict.

These pages are an online version of historian Nance's published work:

ATTACK AND COUNTERATTACK: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842, Joseph Milton Nance, Austin: University of Texas Press, 764 pp., 16 illus., 4 maps, 15x23 cm, 1964.

In this book, Nance explores the events of 1842 that put Texas back on a wartime footing, desperately marshalling sufficient forces to renew its fight for independence. For an overview, see Epilogue.

Almost all pages, including the index, are presented as images for fidelity to the book. Entry pages for contents, appendices, bibliography, and index are in HTML to facilitate access to the material. Pagination is preserved so that existing citation will be valid.

Some of the bibliography sources, such as Gammel's Laws of Texas and early volumes of the Texas State Historical Association's Southwestern Historical Quarterly, are now available on the Internet.

The sums of money mentioned in the book would be about twenty-times greater now. One dollar in 1836 would be equivalent to about $20 in 2008[1].

A more detailed map of Mexico of this period is "A Correct Map of the Seat of War in Mexico, 1847", #0131, Map Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives. Available online. (The map is based on General Mariano Arista's map, captured during the U. S. war with Mexico.)

Viewing the online pages

It may be helpful to open a second copy of the browser just for viewing maps, and a third copy just for viewing the index. One can then quickly return to a map or an index page by switching to that browser.

For monitor screen resolutions greater than 1024 by 768 pixels, the page images may be too small to read comfortably. One option is to enlarge the images by temporarily setting the PC display resolution to a lower value, 1024 by 768 pixels for example. (For Windows XP, select: Start/ Settings/ Control Panel/ Display/ Settings/ Screen resolution = 1024 by 768 pixels.) Another option with some of the latest browers is to use their "zoom" feature to enlarge the images.

The book's maps have higher-resolution versions (click on "Enlarge") that should display larger than the monitor screen, so small details can be seen. Some browsers have a function to automatically resize large images to fit the monitor screen. In this case, left-click on the image and it will enlarge as intended.

At the top and bottom of each page are navigation bars with the following links:

  • Go to Page   provides tables of page numbers for going directly to a page if the page number is known.
  • Index   goes to a choice of the first letter or two of the name of interest, then to that section of the index.
  • Contents   goes to the online-contents page which lists chapters and major sections.
  • Enlarge   provides a larger version of a map to make small details readable.
  • Biblio.   goes to the Bibliography where an Alternate Alphabetical List of bibliography entries has been added.
  • Page-   moves backward by one book page number.
  • Page+   moves forward by one book page number.  The entire book can be sequentially viewed using these Page links.

Within the Alternate Alphabetical List of bibliography entries (see below):

  • List-   moves backward by one page.
  • List+   moves forward by one page.

Additional Material

The online Contents page provides links to all major sections of the book. The reader may use the chapter links on the Contents page or the original two-page Table of Contents.

To aid the reader, a few editor's notes have been added to the online version, in the format "[Ed: ... ]" to distinguish them from Nance's comments, also within square brackets.

Alternate bibliography.  The book's bibliography lists sources alphabetically in nine categories over 28 pages, requiring considerable searching by most readers. To improve access to the bibliography, an Alternate Alphabetical List is provided on the Bibliography entry page. All sources are combined into the one list, with a note on each source specifying Nance's category of reference.


On behalf of the public, our thanks to the University of Texas Press, Austin, and the family of Joseph Milton Nance for permission to make this important work available. The book will join an increasing number of freely available reference works on the Internet. Even small rural schools are getting Internet service, which eventually will give them a virtual library much larger than they could otherwise afford.

Technical note on page images

The book pages were scanned at 300 dpi, black & white, then cropped to 1350 by 2213 pixels to save the text-portion. (Black & white scanning reduces the problem of the shadow at the binding edge of the page.) Next, the 1350 by 2213 images were converted to a 5-level gray scale by digitally averaging the color level of each 2 x 2 pixel square of the image. The resulting images became half-size, or 675 by 1106 pixels for the online page-images, and were saved as *.gif files.

The online page-images have a small orientation variation from scanning a thick book on a flat-bed scanner. A better result would have been obtained if a book had been disassembled.

Web page maintenance

The safest way to correct an online work is to use a plain-text editor (e.g., Windows Notepadtm) that can change a page's content without altering the HTML. Commercial web-preparation programs insulate the user from HTML details, but often rewrite the original HTML to their current proprietary level without the user's knowledge. Also, commercial programs may substitute current absolute link addresses in a page

(e.g., <a href="https://supsites.tshaonline.org/fannin/hd_014.html">)

for the original relative link addresses

(e.g., <a href="hd_014.html">),

without the user being aware. The changed page is fine until the online work is moved to another server where the absolute links no longer function.

Simply uploading a corrected web page from a personal computer to a server can be damaging. The safest way is to use a file-transfer program that provides a "raw ASCII" option (e.g., WS_FTPtm) that does not alter the HTML. Some Internet browsers provide an upload option, but may reformat the page in their proprietary HTML in the process without the user's knowledge. The uploaded web page then looks fine on the same browser, but may not look the same on other browsers.

H. David Maxey - 2008

  1. Inflation calculator at https://www.westegg.com/inflation/ by S. Morgan Friedman, based on Historical Statistics of the United States, colonial times to 1970, Washington: U. S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1975.

Go to Page | Index | Contents ix     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

ATTACK AND COUNTERATTACK: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842
Joseph Milton Nance, 1964