chronological look at the people and events that make up the unique history of
Texas, beginning with the wanderings of early Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca,
on through the Texas Revolution, Texas Independence, and statehood, and eventually
continuing through the American Civil War, the era of the cattle drives, and Reconstruction.
GLIMPSE OF TEXAS PAST"
by Jeffery Robenalt
biography & website
Glimpse of Texas Past' Columns:
and the Draft in Civil War Texas 5-1-13|
all Texans were in agreement about secession and the Civil War and many more were
opposed to the Confederate Conscription Act. Historians estimate that nearly 30
percent of the Texas population had Unionist sentiments, though the great majority,
like Sam Houston and James Throckmorton, remained loyal to Texas. However, as
events would bear out, many dissenters paid a heavy price for expressing their
doubt of the Southern cause and their opposition to the draft.
on the Texas Gulf Coast 4-2-13|
light of the North's vast naval superiority, one of the most remarkable feats
of the American Civil War was the Texans tenacious defense of their Gulf Coast
ports. From Sabine Pass in the north to Brownsville in the south, the Texans bent
now and then but they refused to break.
War in the Southwest
War battles fought in the American Southwest cannot be measured against the savage
struggles that raged in the east where tens of thousands of Union and Confederate
soldiers clashed and died. However, large or small, the size of the battles meant
little to the men on both sides who were wounded, killed or captured fighting
for their beliefs.
Texas leaves the Union 2-1-13|
the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860, events moved swiftly toward
secession. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and other
states in the old south quickly followed suit, but in Texas newly elected Governor
Sam Houston stubbornly refused to call a convention to even discuss the issue.
along the Rio Grande: The First Cortina War
the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, and the ending
of the Mexican-American War, the official boundary between Texas and Mexico was
established at the Rio Grande, leaving a large portion of the Cortina family land
grant on the United States side of the border. The stage was now set for conflict.
the spring of 1840, the Navy of the Republic of Texas was immersed in a political
battle between President Mirabeau Lamar and arch-enemy, former president Sam Houston,
currently serving as a member of the Texas Congress. Into the midst of this acrimonious
struggle, stepped a 28-year-old naval first lieutenant, Edwin Ward Moore.
of Antelope Hills
the years 1856 to 1858, Comanche raids on the Texas frontier began to escalate
as settlers encroached further into the Comancheria. Ironically, matters finally
came to a boil when four white outlaws disguised as Comanches massacred James
B. Cambren and his two sons, who were plowing a new field on their homestead bordering
the Brazos River in the far northwest corner of Young County.
early spring of 1847, a remarkable treaty between German settlers and Native Americans
was negotiated on the banks of the San Saba River in the hill country north of
Walker Texas Ranger and the "Walker" Colt
years is not a long life as measured against most men, but Texas Ranger Sam Walker's
brief years were an epic adventure filled with Indian battles, wars, public renown,
Rock: The Last Comanche Fight of Jack Hays
historians have questioned the Rangers' victory at Paint Rock as pure fiction
or an attempt to revise history, however, Jack Hays and the Texas Rangers need
no help from me or any other historian to bring glory and honor to their name.
Battle of San Jacinto
In eighteen glorious minutes, Sam Houston and his fellow Texans won a remarkable
victory, establishing Texas as an independent republic and opening the door for
United States expansion southwest to the Rio Grande and all the way west to the
at Goliad: A Texas Tragedy
massacre at Goliad branded Santa Anna as an inhuman despot and the Mexican people,
whether deserved or not, with a reputation for cruelty. As a result of the needless
slaughter, a burning desire for revenge arose among the people of Texas, and Americans
became firmly united behind the Texas cause of independence.
Battle of the Alamo 1-27-12|
the defeat of General Cos at the siege of San Antonio, Texans thought their independence
was won. They failed to understand that General Santa Anna was enraged over the
disturbances at Anahuac and Cos's surrender. The dictator would never rest until
his soldiers either killed every Anglo-American and Tejano rebel who openly defied
his rule or drove them across the Sabine River and out of Texas for good.
Siege of San Antonio de Bexar 12-30-11|
October 2, 1835, the Texas "shot heard round the world" was fired in a brief skirmish
between Mexican troops and Texas settlers known as the Battle of Gonzales. After
the battle, volunteers from all over Texas continued to gather in Gonzales, and
on the morning of October 13, newly elected commander, Stephen F. Austin, marched
the "Army of the People" toward San Antonio.
Rising Tide of Revolution
independence from Spain and the Mexican Constitution of 1824 brought a new wave
of American immigration to Texas. Not only did the settlers have to cope with
the usual hardships of beginning life in a new land, but they also had to adjust
to living in a country with a set of customs and laws that were alien to their
to Stephen F. Austin, "the Father of Texas," and many other dedicated Empresarios,
the population of Texas stood at nearly 20,000 citizens by 1830, most of them
from the United States.
Although the Filibusters
were unsuccessful in gaining independence for Texas, reports of their activities
in newspapers and periodicals all across the country brought the vast land of
Texas to the forefront of American thought and encouraged countless settlers to
pull up stakes and journey to the new land of promise, paving the way for the
era of the Texas Empresarios.
Salle and French Exploration in Early Texas
La Salle's expedition was unsuccessful, the French presence in Texas finally stirred
the Spanish to action. Fearing they would lose the race to claim the Americas,
the Spaniards renewed their exploration of the Gulf Coast and began working diligently
to settle East Texas."
Coronadoís Search for Cibola
expedition, including 250 cavalry, 80 infantry, 1000 Indians, several priests,
and thousands of horses, cattle, and sheep, departed from Culiacan in the spring
The Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to explore the
interior of Texas, and the narrative he wrote of his experiences in the New World
remains the most valuable source of information we possess today on the Native
American tribes, landforms, plants, and animals of early Texas.
Battle of Walker's Creek and the Colt Paterson Revolver 4-1-11|
The Battle of Walker's Creek
was more of a minor skirmish than a battle, but thanks to Samuel Colt and the
introduction of his Colt Paterson revolver, the outcome of the fight had pivotal
consequences in the long-running struggle between the Comanches and the Texas
Rangers. No longer would the Rangers be at a distinct disadvantage when engaging
the Comanches on horseback. Armed with the five-shot Paterson, they were more
than a match for the "Lords of the Plains" and their deadly short bows.
March into Hell: The Mier Expedition 3-11-11|
the aftermath of President Mirabeau Lamar's ill-fated expedition to Santa Fe,
his successor, Sam Houston, did his best to maintain an uneasy peace between Mexico
and the Republic of Texas. However, after Santa Anna twice ordered Mexican troops
to occupy San Antonio, political pressure for action eventually forced Houston
to dispatch General Alexander Somervell and 750 volunteers to the Rio Grande.
What began as a demonstration in force soon ended in "A March into Hell: The Mier
Battle of the Salado
March of 1842, Mexican President Santa Anna retaliated for Texas President Mirabeau
Lamarís ill-fated "Wild Goose" expedition to Santa Fe by sending General Raphael
Vasquez and a substantial force of soldiers across the Rio Grande with orders
to occupy San Antonio...
"Wild Goose Campaign to Santa Fe"
1841, President Lamar proposed to send the expedition on his own initiative; ostensibly
to establish a trade route across northern Texas to Santa Fe, and to offer the
citizens of New Mexico an opportunity to voluntarily join the Republic...
Expedition of Colonel John Moore
the aftermath of the Great Comanche Raid of 1840 and the Battle of Plum Creek,
Mirabeau Lamar, the President of the Republic of Texas, charged Texas Ranger Colonel
John Moore with the responsibility of organizing an expedition for the purpose
of attacking and destroying a Comanche winter village..
Great Comanche Raid and the Battle of Plum Creek
of the most storied events in the historic past of Lockhart, Texas occurred two
miles south of town along the wooded banks of Plum Creek, when a small group of
volunteers defeated more than 600 Comanche and Kiowa warriors who had participated
in the Great Comanche Raid of 1840...
San Antonio Council House Fight 12-13-10|
In March of 1840,
a meeting took place in old San Antonio between representatives of the government
of the Republic of Texas and the Penateka Comanches to discuss terms of a peace
treaty. The disastrous results of this meeting would soon lead to the Great Comanche
Raid of 1840 and the Battle of Plum Creek.
Features by Jeffery Robenalt:|
was born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio. He served in Vietnam as a Sergeant in the
United States Marine Corps and later served as a Platoon Leader and Executive
Officer with the 101st Airborne Division. He has a BS in Sociology from Troy University,
a BA in History from New York University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas
Tech University. After earning his law degree, Mr. Robenalt was an Attorney for
the State of Texas for ten years.
"Saga of a Texas Ranger" is the first
novel in Mr. Robenalt's "Saga" Series. Volume 2, "Star Over Texas" and Volume
3, "The Bloody Frontier" are also available. Volume 4 will be out in the fall
Mr. Robenalt currently resides with his wife Lizabeth and daughter
Emily in Lockhart, Texas where he teaches Texas history at Lockhart Junior High
His website: www.sagaofatexasranger.com
by Jeffery Robenalt - Order Here >|
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