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  • Last Battle of the Civil War

    In the summer of 1864, the Confederate forces under John S. Ford recaptured Fort Brown and held control of the mainland of South Texas, where Federals had already withdrawn most of their troops. The last battle of the Civil War was fought in the nearby valley in the spring of 1865 after Lee had surrendered. On May 13, at Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, Ford and a force of about 300 or more met two federal regiments and a company of unmounted Texas (Union) cavalry, taking 113 prisoners and inflicting 25-30 casualties. Ford and other Confederate leaders in the area soon concluded that continuation of their war was futile.
    • 25/04/2002
    • 02:39:48
    • Score: 9 out of 9 people found this comment useful.
  • Ratification of 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments

    After the Civil War ended in 1865, the southern states that had seceded from the Union were governed by a combination of appointed federal officials and the army until Congress readmitted them to the union. Ratification of the 13th , 14th , and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, was among the requirements for readmission of the states. These amendments, respectively, prohibited slavery, gave citizenship to all born or naturalized in the United States while prohibiting political activity by those who had supported secession, and gave all citizens, regardless of color, the right to vote. The former slaves, or freedmen, were enfranchised (given the right to vote) by the 15th Amendment and, because the Democrats had led the South into the Civil War, blacks joined the Republican Party. Blacks, who could vote and hold office in Texas until they were disenfranchised in the early 20th century, were the major source of Republican voting strength. They joined with Northern immigrants to the state and long-time opponents of Texas secession to elect Republican Edmund Davis as governor of Texas in 1870
    • 25/04/2002
    • 02:24:31
    • Score: 5 out of 5 people found this comment useful.
  • Get ALL the facts, not just a few...

    Zachary Taylor was sent into the area (north of the Rio Grande)that was disputed. The Republic of Texas, which existed for almost ten years before becoming part of the United States, was beset by many problems, principally financial ones. Although Texas had much land, until it was farmed by settlers little money would be available. Although the new Republic of Texas was recognized by the United States and by several European countries, Mexico refused to recognize it, arguing that the treaty signed by Santa Anna claimed territory that was not part of the original state of Tejas. The republic asserted that the Río Grande, from its mouth to its source, was the western boundary of the new country, which would have given Texas parts of present-day New Mexico and Colorado. Mexico maintained that the southern boundary of Texas should be the Nueces River and not the Río Grande.
    • 25/04/2002
    • 02:14:44
    • Score: 7 out of 7 people found this comment useful.
  • Texas-Mexican War.....another "spark" to ignite the U.S. Civil War

    As Mexico prepared for war with the Republic of Texas, Polk sent troops into the disputed area north of the Rio Grande. U.S. General (and future U.S. President) Zachary Taylor was ordered to the Río Grande to enforce it as the difinitive Texas boundary. Mexico, however, held that the boundary was the Nueces River and considered Taylor's advance a provocation. Mexico sent troops across the Rio Grande and, in the spring of 1846, fought a skirmish in which the Americans suffered more than a dozen casualties. Congress responded by declaring war on Mexico in May 1846. The near-unanimous congressional support for the declaration hid the fact that most Whigs and many Northern Democrats were deeply suspicious of a Southern war just to annex more territory for the institution of slavery.The Texas-Mexican War resulted in a decisive U.S. victory and forced Mexico to relinquish all claims to aproximately half of its national territory. The Mexican War was a straightforward land-grab. The ease with which the United States won, along with the arrogance in which it behaved, created a distrustful and sometimes violent southern border area for the country. Likewise, the lands ceded by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo became the object of contest and resentment between the slave and free states as well. These conflicting sentiments would widen severely and directly contribute much into and throughout the American Civil War 13 years later.
    • 25/04/2002
    • 01:49:37
    • Score: 12 out of 13 people found this comment useful.
  • Annexation of Texas - figures prominately in the Civil War

    The new Republic of Texas asked to be annexed to the United States as early as 1837. The governments of Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren took no action for two reasons. First, the question of Texas annexation divided the northern and southern United States. Leading up to the 1840s, trans-Mississippi expansion had extended "Southern society" and contributed to a way of life considered to be abhorable by northern citizens. Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri were all slave states. Texas would be another. Northerners, who disliked slavery and Southern political power, imagined that the Texas territory could become as many as 11 new slave states with 22 new pro-slavery senators. Annexation of Texas was certain to arouse Northern, antislavery opposition. President John Tyler, supporting the South, tried to annex Texas in 1844 but was defeated by congressional Northerners and by some Southern members of the anti-Jacksonian Whig Party. The second reason for avoiding annexation was that Mexico still considered Texas its own territory. Annexation would create a diplomatic crisis, perhaps resulting in war.
    • 25/04/2002
    • 01:34:29
    • Score: 20 out of 20 people found this comment useful.