Lesson 1 – Pre-civil War Texas- Dead Man’s Walk

What do you really know about how the U.S. conquered Texas?  I don’t know a whole lot either.  I do know, however, that Texas was once it’s own country.  But this story takes place after that.


There are some important rivers you ought to know when reading this part of the book.  Doing so will give you a very realistic view of how much territory the characters cover.  Here’s a map:

As you’ll note, our characters are found along the Rio Grande river.  However, just by looking at this, the Rio Grande river is Texas’ southern border and is, indeed, very long.  Luckily, Larry McMurtry gives us a sense of where Call and Gus, our main characters, actually are.  If you trace your finger down the Rio Grande, into the cut, you will find the Pecos river, which is the river our boys have just crossed (they are camping to the west of the river).

Anyway, the title of this post is Pre-civil War Texas, lets take a look at what Call and Gus would know about where they are.

As you can see in this map, Call and Gus are located in the “disputed Territory, which is marked by it’s gray color.  Who was it disputed between though?  Well, according to this book, it was more than just the Mexicans and Americans, the Comanches, a Native American tribe who called the Texas plains home, were also vying for territory.  As you can probably guess, it was pretty dangerous out their.


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