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Thursday, September 29, 2005

American History week- Texas

Some like to claim that America has no history, but you only have to look at the state of Texas to see that isn't true. Over the last thousand years the land has been under the control of several different peoples. Before the arrival of European settlers Texas was inhabited by Native Americans, including the internationally famous Apache, Cherokee and Comanche. Reading Wikipedia I see that there are now three federally recognised Native American tribes living in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta, the Kickapoo and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo. (I don't know what federal recognition means so if anyone can tell me I'd be grateful.) The history of these tribes is fascinating in itself. The Kickapoo originally came from the great lakes area in the north but moved south in stages because of conflict with other tribes and contact with settlers. You can read more about them here. The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo on the other hand originally came from New Mexico. In this account of the Alabama-Coushatta I see that Native Americans played a role in the civil war.
The Polk County Indians played only a minor role in the Civil War. John
Scott, later chief of the Alabama-Coushattas, and nineteen members of his
tribe were sworn into Confederate service on April 11, 1862. After serving
briefly in Company G, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry, at Arkansas Post, they
returned home and were organized by Capt. William H. Beazley into a cavalry
company unattached to any regiment. In December 1864 this company listed 132
men on its roster and was part of the Sixth Brigade, Second Texas Infantry. The
primary job of this new organization was to construct and operate flat-bottom boats for transporting farm produce to the Confederate forces along the Gulf Coast.
From 1690 to 1821 Texas was a Spanish colony and then from 1821 to 1835 a part of Mexico. Texas was an independent republic until it joined the United States in 1845.

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