This is a novel set against the disruption of Texas society caused by the U.S. Civil War. Its narrative follows a gang of young contraband smugglers from Austin, Texas, who are drawn inescapably into the war raging around them. Fleeing the border city of Brownsville as Union troops invade, the gang returns as part of a larger force-a last-hope battalion known as The Cavalry of the West. Facing disaster with the loss of Brownsville, Texas needs all its remaining resources to regain its outlet to global trade. Disenchanted veterans, draft resisters, misfits, rejects, opportunists, and patriots join with legendary Texas figures Rip Ford, Santos Benavides, Sally Skull, Mary Maverick, and the mysterious James Red Dunn in the desperate attempt to recapture the Lower Rio Grande. Fiction and history combine to portray the psychological trauma, stubborn pride, and desperation of a society caught on the losing end of war. The result is one of the most unorthodox military campaigns of the U.S. Civil War. Riding southward, the Cavalry of the West faces impossible odds and great personal hardships. From San Antonio to northern Mexico, each mile brings them nearer to danger and an uncertain future as Texas, the Confederacy, and the world they have known crumbles around them. John D Kearney is a life-long Texas resident. Following a career in the machining trades, he earned academic degrees in History at Texas State University-San Marcos, and the University of Houston. His previous historic novel is entitled Vengeance in Old San Antonio: The Ruthless Killings of Ben Thompson and John King Fisher. In addition to literary pursuits, he currently works as an adjunct history professor at various colleges in the Houston area.