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Medium 9781623491109

7. Effects of Civil War and Emancipation

Margaret Lewis Furse Texas A&M University Press ePub

Chapter 7


The two major events that marked the years 1861 to 1865, the Civil War and the Emancipation, affected the J. B. Hawkins plantation in opposite ways. During the Civil War the plantation thrived. But when the Emancipation took full effect (and it was not immediate), it ended the labor supply and the plantation system as well. Then the business of J. B. Hawkins changed from planting to raising cattle, and in that endeavor he would come to rely on his son, Frank Hawkins.

J. B. Hawkins’s support of the Confederacy made him an even busier planter-merchant than he had ever been, because the demand for his sugar, molasses, cotton, beeves, lumber, and hides was now greater than ever. Texas did not suffer the same damage to its agricultural system during the Civil War as did the deep-south states that were overrun by Union foot soldiers. In Texas during the war years, slavery continued, as did the crop production in the plantation system.1

Sales receipts and other documents among the papers of J. B. Hawkins indicate that the Confederacy gave him favorable business opportunities. For example, J. W. Selkirk sent a notation on December 21, 1861, from Camp McCulloch, confirming a shipping order: “I enclose you an order on Col Hawkins for 30 BBLS molasses, 25 of which we have sold the Department [Confederate Department of Texas] at $24 per BBL. The other 5 we can sell here. I suppose the Col will not ask more than $16 as he promised us. Send it as soon as possible.”2

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Medium 9781603442909

Mexican Littoral of the Gulf of Mexico

Buster, Noreen A. Texas A&M University Press ePub

Arturo Carranza-Edwards

The Mexican littoral zone of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean together total 2756 km of generally sandy emergent shorelines associated with lowland terrains. The coast along the Gulf of Mexico forms a concave coastline (Fig. 17.1) with intermittent areas of high relief, and the continental shelf is wide, especially adjacent to the karstic Yucatan Peninsula (Tamayo 2002). This summary emphasizes relevant aspects of the Mexican coastline related to geological aspects of the littoral sediments and their role within the environmental context.

Figure 17.1. The Mexican littoral of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tectonic Setting

According to Carranza-Edwards et al. (1975), the Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico may be subdivided into 4 morphotectonic units. From the tectonic point of view, the units correspond to a coastline on a marginal sea that is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the Caribbean Arc (Inman and Nordstrom 1971). Primary coasts are of terrestrial or continental origin, but secondary coasts dominate marine processes. The units summarized below are defined as continental units of regional character of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Even though these units have the same general tectonic style (mainly passive), there are major geomorphic divisions of the region.

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Medium 9781603442015

The Bays and Estuaries of Texas An Ephemeral Treasure?

Ken W Kramer Texas A&M University Press ePub

Ben F. Vaughan III

CHARLES KRUVAND’S coastal photographs in The Living Waters of Texas are works of art, but even they are inadequate to portray the riches all Texans have inherited through the public ownership of the bays and estuaries along our Texas coast. My fond hope here is to explain how the health of Texas bays and estuaries and their freshwater inflows are so precious to me, to the fifty thousand Texas members of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and to everyone. So important indeed are these resources that we dedicate ourselves unstintingly to their continued maintenance and future enhancement.

Our interest and our dedication may have stemmed from our personal experiences. Perhaps it started with the toe in the water, a gull’s cry, a whelk’s moan, a perch’s nibble, or a chandelier-like spray before the bow of a boat running into a southeast breeze. Such indelible impressions are memory makers not easily forfeited to the political expediency demanded by the shortcomings of human imagination.

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Medium 9781603448147

6. August—Bats in Carlsbad Caverns

Gary W. Vequist Texas A&M University Press ePub

6. August

Bats in Carlsbad Caverns

The sweltering desert landscape of the American Southwest may not seem like an ideal wildlife-watching destination in August. But within the caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico the temperatures can run 20–40 degrees cooler than the outside desert. That cool subterranean climate is ideal for the hundreds of thousands of Brazilian (a.k.a. Mexican) free-tailed bats that roost in the caves during the day. Come evening the bats awake and leave the cave in a mass exodus as they venture out into the desert to feed. Watching swarm after swarm of bats corkscrew their way up into the fading twilight and then depart toward the distant horizon is one of nature’s great wildlife-viewing spectacles.

What’s Remarkable about Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats?

Every summer evening since time immemorial a half-million or so Brazilian free-tailed bats exit Carlsbad Caverns to head out into the surrounding desert to feed. Upon leaving the cave the “clouds” of bats—yes, that is one of the terms for a group of bats—corkscrew upward into the evening sky in a counterclockwise pattern. Why counterclockwise? Some have speculated that this behavior is due to the Coriolis effect, the same earthly phenomenon that causes the water in your bathtub to drain in a counterclockwise pattern (assuming you live in the Northern Hemisphere). Although the Coriolis effect is extremely weak, a bat trying to gain altitude needs all the assistance it can get, so the ascending bats may use it to more efficiently ascend. This counterclockwise pattern is so ingrained in bats they even use it in confined spaces such as inside houses. When the Carlsbad Caverns bats return to the cave at the end of the night they don’t need this earthly assistance to descend so they simply dive in a straight line into the cave entrance.

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Medium 9781623490386

1. Coastal Processes

Richard A. Davis Texas A&M University Press ePub

Coastal Processes

WHEN we hear the word beach, the first thing that comes to mind is sand; the next is probably waves. Actually there are multiple processes that impact beaches and control their existence and appearance (figure 1.1). It is appropriate to begin with the most fundamental of these coastal processes: the weather. Then it is important to consider how the waves, which are a result of the weather, impact the beach. These waves also generate currents that are a major element of beach dynamics. Storms, especially hurricanes, are a significant factor in Gulf of Mexico beaches. A process that is always present but is not weather related is the ebb and flow of tides, but tides do not play a major role in Gulf Coast beaches.


The Gulf Coast is positioned in the latitudes that range from about 18° to 30° north of the equator. This range of latitudes experiences a fairly wide variation in weather patterns. As the seasons change, so do the weather patterns. During the summer the Gulf is within the Trade Winds belt, with the prevailing direction from the southeast. This is the time when tropical storms can impact this coast. In the winter the westerlies prevail as weather systems are moving from the northwest to the southeast. The changes from one pattern to another influence the way beaches respond to the wind and the waves produced by it.

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