Megan Kate Nelson Lecture

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Venue: CN 1.112
Admission: Free
Season: 2014-15

Dying in the Desert: The Nature of Warfare in the Confederate Campaign for New Mexico, 1861

In the summer of 1861, John R. Baylor and his 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles rode from Texas into New Mexico Territory; they were there to take the West for the Confederacy.  As Baylor and his men moved up the Rio Grande, 600 Union soldiers and civilians fled from the Texans into the mountains of southern New Mexico.  By the end of the day, 100 of them had died and the survivors had surrendered.  How did this happen?  This talk will suggest that it was not military might that destroyed the Union column that day (in fact, the Texans were outnumbered)—it was the nature of the desert Southwest itself.


Megan Kate Nelson is a writer, historian, and cultural critic.  She has taught American history and American studies at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard University, and Brown University.  She writes for the New York Times Disunion blog and Civil War Times in addition to JSTOR Daily, and is the author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Georgia, 2012) and Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia, 2005).  Her blog, Historista, examines the surprising, cool, and weird ways that people engage with history in everyday life.  She is currently researching a book about the Civil War in the American Southwest.

For more information contact:
Natalie Ring
[email protected]

UT Dallas students, staff and faculty may receive a free ticket to any ticketed A&H event by presenting their Comet Card at the Box Office on the night of the performance. See tickets for more information.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-2982 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.

Due to on-going campus construction, please visit Pardon Our Progress to keep updated with the latest construction projects

Click here for parking locations/information, maps and directions to A&H event venues and visit UT Dallas Parking & Transportation for more information.