Santos Benavides has been called the greatest historical figure produced by South Texas in the 19th century. He was the highest-ranking Tejano officer in the entire Confederate army. Not many persons are aware of the vital role the Texas-Mexico border played in the United Sates Civil War. Since the Union had set up a blockade of the Gulf Coast, the only way for the South to get cotton, its economic lifeline, to Europe was to cross it through the Rio Grande into Mexico, to be shipped overseas from Mexican ports. Protection of this vital export section of the country was required to keep the border open. During his lifetime five flags flew over Laredo, Texas. In 1879 he held the distinction of being the only Tejano in the Texas Legislature. As the author states. “his life was one of endless struggle, difficult adaptation, and enduring perseverance, as well as binational leadership and skilled diplomacy.” This is the first in-depth study of this most important Civil War hero. This is Texas Biography Series No.5 by the publisher.
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