The election of Abraham Lincoln in prompted the secession of Southern, slave-holding states. The majority of Texans feared the election of a Republican would threaten slavery, which they believed was a vital part of the economy of the young state. Not all Texans bought into the idea of secession, most notably Sam Houston, the Unionist governor of the state. Although Houston himself was a slave-owner and opposed abolition, he actively worked to keep the state from seceding.
Governor Houston was evicted from office when he refused to take an oath to the Confederacy. Houston was replaced by Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark. This would mark the beginning of a long, bloody battle between the North and South. The Union would prove victorious four years later. By a vote of to 8, the Secession Convention of Texas voted to withdraw from the Union.
Governor Sam Houston refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy. When the Convention removed him from office on March 16, Houston's political career was over. The statesman retired to Huntsville where he died two years later.
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All able-bodied men were required to report for service to the Confederate Army. This left many Texas colonies and forts with no defense from continual Comanche and Kiowa raids. The Texas Legislature passed an act authorizing the formation of the Frontier Regiment. Early in the Civil War, Texas ranchers supplied the Confederate army with beef.
Federal troops seized control of the Mississippi River and New Orleans in , cutting Texas off from its southern markets. With most men involved in the war, cattle were left to roam. By , there were thousands of unbranded "maverick" cattle throughout the state. Granger proclaimed the end of slavery for , African Americans as well as the end of the Confederacy. President Lincoln freed all enslaved peoples on January 1, But the Emancipation Proclamation had no effect in Confederate states, who were in rebellion against the Union.
Enslaved people in Confederate states would not gain their freedom until the Civil War ended. Slavery in Texas was brought to an end on June 19, when U. General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston. He announced the immediate emancipation of approximately a quarter million African Americans in Texas. Today, this event is known as "Juneteenth" and has been an observed state holiday since The economic devastation of the South after the Civil War meant Texas ranchers had to look elsewhere for profitable markets. The challenge was getting them there. Cow folk and their cattle traveled the famed Chisholm Trail that crossed the Red River and headed into Kansas in order to reach the rail heads that could take the cattle to market.
The Army Reorganization Act authorized Congress to form the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry units. These African American troops become known as "Buffalo Soldiers" because of their bravery in battles against Native Americans. The term eventually became a reference for all African American soldiers. Cathay Williams was a cook for the Union Army.
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When the Civil War ended, Cathay needed to support herself. When she was hospitalized, the doctor discovered her secret.
On October 14, , "William Cathay" was declared unfit for duty and honorably discharged. In , Cathay applied for a military pension, but was denied because women weren't eligible to be soldiers. When not engaged in skirmishes with the Apache and Comanche Indians, the soldiers guarded civilian and government stagecoaches traveling along the San Antonio to El Paso road.
Fort Lancaster 9th Cavalry Company K soldiers were moving their horses to pasture. The Buffalo Soldiers scurried to fire at the invaders while herding their valuable horses back toward the fort's corral.
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Bullets and arrows flew throughout the night. By the time the battle ended the next morning, Company K had lost 38 cavalry horses and two soldiers to the Kickapoo. Kenedy fenced his ranch with smooth wire in , marking the beginning of enclosed ranching in Texas. In , Laureles was incorporated into the mighty King Ranch. After the Civil War, the United States entered the era of Reconstruction, during which former Confederate States had to meet certain conditions for readmission into the Union. This included recognizing the U. Nine African Americans were delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
One of these delegates, George T. Ruby was elected to the Texas Senate a year later, becoming the first African American to serve in the legislature. Texas was readmitted to the United States on March 30, The original four infantry units of Buffalo Soldiers were reorganized into two regiments. The original 38th and 41st regiments became the 24th regiment, and the 39th and 40th were combined to become the 25th regiment. From that point on, the Buffalo Soldiers troops were comprised of the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry regiments.
Following the end of the Civil War, the cattle industry began to rebound. Cattle were turned loose in south Texas and their populations rapidly increased. With cattle numbers on the rise again, ranchers drove their herds toward the new markets in the northern U. The cattle industry in Texas was back and booming. During Reconstruction, southern states were required to nullify acts of secession, abolish slavery, and ratify the 13th Amendment in order to be readmitted to the Union.
Texas balked on the slavery issue, which prompted Congress to require that the Texas Legislature also pass the 14th and 15th Amendments before being considered for readmission. When Texas finally met all conditions, President Ulysses S. Grant readmitted Texas to the United States. Stance and his men fought off the Apaches multiple times.
Both children and over a dozen stolen horses were recovered. For his valor, Stance was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and became the first African American soldier to win the country's highest civilian medal in the post-Civil War period.
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Under the command of General William T. Sherman, the 10th Cavalry conducted an inspection tour of Texas frontier to determine the safety of white settlers against Indian threats. They traveled over 34, miles, mapping significant geographical features as they went. The information they gathered was used to develop highly detailed maps of the unsettled territory.
As the United States recovered from the Civil War, the nation's industrial capacity developed at a revolutionary pace. The overheated economy crashed in the Panic of , causing the value of cattle to plummet. The resulting depression caused many cattle ranchers to go bankrupt and temporarily sidelined the industry. Black troops in the U. Army were stationed throughout Texas, the Southwest, and the Great Plains. They were given the name "Buffalo Soldiers" by Native Americans. Four regiments served in Texas: the 9th and 10th Cavalry, and the 24th and 25th Infantry.
The Buffalo Soldiers participated in many frontier campaigns and were responsible for a variety of military tasks, including building roads and escorting mail parties through the frontier.
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Beginning in , a series of patents was issued to several inventors for strong, mass-produced fencing made from interlocking strands of wire, outfitted with sharp barbs that discouraged even the toughest cattle from muscling through it. In , two salesman demonstrated barbed wire in the Alamo Plaza in San Antonio. Within a few years, the simple, revolutionary invention had ended the open range. Alex Sweet, editor of the nationally-circulated humor magazine Texas Siftings , wrote in "The Rangers have done more to suppress lawlessness, to capture criminals, and to prevent Mexican and Indian raids on the frontier, than any other agency employed by either the State or national government.
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Army began a campaign to remove all Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, and Arapaho from the southwest plains and relocate them to reservations in Indian Territory. Led by Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, the Indian tribes fought one last battle for their native lands. Army, including all regiments of the Buffalo Soldiers, engaged the Indians in over 20 battles from to in the Texas panhandle around the Red River.
The cattle drives faced the constant threat of attack by American Indians. In a series of battles known as the Red River War, the U. Army defeated a large force of Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Comanche at Palo Duro Canyon, by capturing and killing their horses. Without their ability to make war, the Indians were forced to relocate to reservations in Oklahoma, opening up the Staked Plains to cattle ranching. Since Texas gained independence from Mexico in , the Texas Constitution has undergone five revisions.
The Constitution of was the sixth revision of the document and established the foundation for the law still in effect in Texas today. The constitution, in part a reaction to Reconstruction, shortened terms and lowered salaries of elected officials, decentralized control of public education, limited powers of both the legislature and governor, and provided biennial legislative sessions.
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