East Texas History

East Texas History is a free mobile app and web platform that places the past at your fingertips. Designed by the History Department at Sam Houston State University, the project seeks to highlight the distinctive people, places, and events that have shaped East Texas. Viewers may learn about the region through our interactive, map-based interface that includes historical stories, photographs, and oral interviews. Follow our progress on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook to learn more about the project or to become a participating author. Read more About Us

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On May 12, 1865, two small outfits of soldiers would engage in what is now considered the final battle of the Civil War. Though the war had officially ended with General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox more than a month before, Union…

The Huntsville Branch Railway was a "tap" rail line which was chartered as the Huntsville Branch Railway Company in 1871. Support of a railroad through Huntsville was split in the community for a number of reasons. Concerns about loss of…

On September 5, 1867, shortly after Huntsville declared the recent string of yellow fever attacks an epidemic, “a general panic ensued.” By the end of the month, families hid in their homes or had fled to the country, schools had dissolved,…

On September 8, 1863, four Union gunboats and 4,000 troops attacked Fort Griffin, a Confederate position controlling the Sabine River Pass, which divides Texas from Louisiana on the Gulf Coast. The Union was intent upon the conquest of Texas, which…

In 1847, Sam Houston bought a 200-acre property on the outskirts of Huntsville, Texas, to be the site of his family’s home. Houston designed a house that would resemble that of his boyhood in Virginia. While away to serve as one of Texas’s first…