|About the Book|
The story of Chamizal begins in December of 1897 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where Major Thaddeus Bradshaw is completing his last year of service as a physician in the United States Army. His wife, Abigail, and their eighteen-year-old daughter,MoreThe story of Chamizal begins in December of 1897 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where Major Thaddeus Bradshaw is completing his last year of service as a physician in the United States Army. His wife, Abigail, and their eighteen-year-old daughter, Emily, are the other members of the family. During the holidays, Colonel Leonard Wood advises the Major of a possibility of war with Spain over Cuban independence. At that time, the Major has become interested in development of a new railroad line and town in southern New Mexico north of El Paso. Abigail thinks only of the time they can move from the Southwest and live at his fathers Baltimore estate in a more civilized part of the country. Emily is completing her second year at a young womans finishing school in Boston. During the Christmas vacation, the family receives a visit by an old Army friend and his lawyer-son. She is suddenly confused by her interest in this young man whom she hasnt seen since early childhood. Colonel Woods premonition about a war with Spain becomes a reality with the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor in February and leads to an official declaration of war in April of 1898. The Major is assigned to the medical team supporting the First U. S. Volunteer Cavalry commanded by Colonel Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, who has resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in President William. B. McKinleys administration. Newspapermen dub the new regiment as the Rough Riders since it is composed mostly of volunteers from western states and territories. Their notoriety is enhanced by the popular and indefatigable Roosevelt, who seeks to gain family redemption for his fathers lack ofparticipation in the Civil War. While the Major is in Cuba, Abigail becomes involved in planning interior designs for the new homes being built for the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad employees in the growing town of Alamogordo. The intention of the developers, Charles and John Eddy, is to create a model western town with all the advantages of towns in the East. When the Spanish American War ends, New Mexico volunteers return to the Territory with great determination to gain statehood. Initial efforts had begun in 1850, but every prior legislative attempt had failed to pass in the U. S. Congress. Albert B. Fall, George Curry and Thomas B. Catron play important parts in the final achievement of statehood in 1912. Through the intervention of real and fictional characters, the long and turbulent history of New Mexico is presented in a well-researched and viable novel.