Texas is a state in the South and Southwest regions of the United States of America. With an area of 268,581 square miles (695,622 km²) and a population of 22.8 million, Texas is the second-largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. The state name derives from a word in a Caddoan language of the Hasinai, táyshaʔ, tecas (or tejas, as the Spaniards spelled it), meaning "those who are friends," friends or allies.
Texas joined the United States in 1845 as the 28th state, after nearly a decade of being the Republic of Texas—an independent country. Texas historically had a "larger than life" reputation, especially in cowboy films. The term "Texas sized" is used to describe something larger than average, and large geographic areas are often described in terms of the size of Texas. It is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is in the south-central part of the United States of America. It is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest.
In 2011 Texas had a gross state product of $1.3 trillion, the second highest in the U.S. after California. Texas is the only state in the U.S. to have three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas; which are also among the 10 largest cities of the United States. They are larger than any other cities in the Southern United States. Austin, El Paso, and Fort Worth are in the top 25 largest U.S. cities.
The Sabine River is shown highlighted, along with the Neches River
The Second Battle of Sabine Pass took place on September 8, 1863, and was the result of a Union expedition into Confederate-controlled Texas during the American Civil War. It has often been credited as the most one-sided Confederate victory during the conflict.
During the summer of 1863, the president of Mexico, Benito Juárez, was overthrown and replaced by the emperor Maximilian, whose allegiance was with France. France had been openly sympathetic to the Confederate States of America earlier in the war, but had never matched its sympathy with diplomatic action. Now that a French government existed just south of the Rio Grande, the Confederates hoped to establish a fruitful route of entry for much-needed matériel.
James Bowie (1796 - March 6, 1836), aka Jim Bowie, was a 19th century pioneer and soldier who took a prominent part in the Texas Revolution and was killed at the Battle of the Alamo. He was born in Kentucky, and spent most of his life in Louisiana before moving to Texas and joining in the revolution.
Bowie is also known for the style of knife he carried, which came to be known as the "Bowie knife". Stories of his frontier spirit has made him one of the most colorful folk heroes of Texas history. During the period before the Texas Revolution, Bowie had all sorts of adventures, including his famous search for the silver mines of San Saba, which proved unsuccessful. Also during this time, he became embroiled in many fights and was known for his fiery temper.