Category Archives: History

The Matamoros Campaign

James Walker Fannin Jr. (d. March 27, 1836) is not one of my favorite characters in Texas history.  In fairness to Fannin, however, he was a 32-year old colonel with comparatively no experience as a senior field officer.  What happened to … Continue reading

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Jim Bowie: The Man Behind the Legend

Was Jim Bowie a hero of Texas, or a man who was simply trapped by his circumstances?  Was he a killer, or simply a man of his time who was willing and able to defend himself in a scrape?  Was … Continue reading

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El Sordo

Erasmus Smith was born on 19 April 1787 in Duchess County, New York.  When he was aged ten or eleven, his parents moved to Natchez, Mississippi … then known as the Mississippi Territory. Natchez is located in the far southwest … Continue reading

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The Dickinson’s of the Alamo

Almeron Dickinson didn’t fall in love until he was 29-years of age.  A Pennsylvanian by birth in the year 1800, he served in the United States Army and was trained in the art and science of artillery.  He eventually found … Continue reading

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A Western Dragoon

Owing to his participation in the civilization of the American West, I have mentioned James Henry Carleton on several occasions —usually as a backdrop to conflicts with American Indians— as a senior in the chain of command.  I thought for this … Continue reading

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Billy Dixon

… and the Buffalo Wallow Fight The Great Plains region of the United States and Canada is a broad expanse of flat and undulating land that includes such features as prairie, steppes, and grasslands. It begins just west of the Mississippi … Continue reading

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The Red River War

Long before the arrival of Anglo-American settlers, the people of the Great Plains had evolved into a nomadic form of existence.  Their pace of movement generally mirrored that of their primary food source, and because humans cannot exist without water, … Continue reading

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Adobe Walls – the first battle

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján [1] was looking for the Seven Cities of Gold in 1541; his travels took him through what is today Hutchinson County, Texas.  Juan de Onate y Salazar [2] passed through the same area in … Continue reading

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Manifest Destiny and the American Indian

Historic revisionists may argue that arrogance is the exclusive domain of the American people, but it is not. A belief in superiority is illustrated by Imperialism [1], practiced by all of the colonizing powers of Europe: Great Britain, France, Belgium, the … Continue reading

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Potsu-nakwah-ipu, Comanche War Chief

In the absence of written records, there’s not much we can say about Buffalo Hump’s early life.  Historians believe that he was likely born in the 1790s.  In 1838, he and two other Comanches visited with Sam Houston to sign … Continue reading

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