General JO Shelby was a Civil War general for the Confederates in the Missouri Arkansas area. After the South surrendered he and many of his men decided not to surrender but instead march into Mexico where a civil war was going on between Maximilian, who as Emperor was propped up by the French and Juarez leading many of the native Mexicans. Shelby and his men thought they would go as an army and fight for one side against the other but that didn't happen either. Before crossing into Mexico his men voted to side with Maximilian while Shelby wanted to side with Juarez. Really though neither side wanted them because neither side thought they could trust them. Also Shelby was trying to sell the idea that he could get thousands of Confederate soldiers to join him, which had to be scary because at that point both sides thought they could win their civil war. Shelby and thousands of Confederates might instead try to take over was the fear. In the end though Mexico was crumbling and Shelby and others were given land grants and the lands seemed promising but there was no security to keep bandits and rebels at bay--most Confederates returned to the US. Also after a couple years, the Union seemed more welcoming than right after the war--Shelby feared either jail or execution for his crimes. Instead when he came back he took an oath and was basically free to return to his home. Other interesting stories of his association with Frank & Jesse James and then becoming US Marshall at the end of his life--really make him an interesting character in US history. It was just a few days ago I was also watching The Outlaw Josie Wales and Josie mentions going into TX to catch up with Shelby and continuing on to Mexico at one point--really funny how that happens.
I have posted this book on PBS, there were 3 WL for it and it was on auto accept so didn't have to wait for it. I will be mailing it off in next couple days along with a couple other books that someone ordered.