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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - #813

Texan Santos Benavides became the Confederacy’s highest ranking Hispanic officer during the American Civil War.  Born in Laredo in 1823, his success as a merchant and rancher contributed to his selection as mayor of Laredo in 1856 and chief justice of Webb County in 1859.  When Texas seceded, Benavides supported the Confederacy.  His Confederates drove Juan Cortina into Mexico in May of 1861, and, promoted to colonel in November 1863, Benavides defended Laredo in March 1864 against Unionist forces led by General Edmund J. Davis. Benavides most significant contribution involved keeping the Rio Grande border open to the Confederate cotton trade for much of the war.  After the war, Colonel Benavides would represent South Texas for three terms in the state legislature before passing away at his Laredo home in 1891.