Texas was part of the South’s cotton-based economy, which depended heavily on slave labor. In 1860, about 30 percent of the state’s population was slaves. The rise of the Republican Party, which wanted to limit slavery, had made many Texans uneasy about remaining in the Union.
In 1861, Texas became the seventh state to secede from the Union. A state convention in Austin voted 166-8 in favor of secession. Some 76 percent of Texans who participated in a statewide referendum had voted to secede. Texas joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861.
Gov. Sam Houston refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. Houston said Texans were “stilling the voice of reason” and predicted a disastrous defeat for the South. The convention delegates removed Houston from the governorship.
During the Civil War, Texas mainly served as a logistical base for Confederate forces. Texas regiments fought in nearly every major battle of the Civil War.
Confederate forces won the last battle of the Civil War on the banks of the Rio Grande in May 1865. This was more than a month after Gen. Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. The announcement of the Confederacy’s fall had not yet reached the fighters in Texas.
Source: Texas is the 7th State to Secede from the Union
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