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In Texas, citizens voted to join the Confederacy; anti-war Germans were hanged. Confederate Arizona was created by Arizona citizens who wanted protection against Apache raids after the United States Army units were moved out. The Confederacy then sets its sight to gain control of the New Mexico Territory.
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General Henry Hopkins Sibley was tasked for the campaign, and together with his New Mexico Army , marched right up the Rio Grande in an attempt to take the mineral wealth of Colorado as well as California. The First Regiment of Volunteers discovered the rebels, and they immediately warned and joined the Yankees at Fort Union. The Battle of Glorieta Pass soon erupted, and the Union ended the Confederate campaign and the area west of Texas remained in Union hands.
Missouri , a Union state where slavery was legal, became a battleground when the pro-secession governor, against the vote of the legislature, led troops to the federal arsenal at St. Louis ; he was aided by Confederate forces from Arkansas and Louisiana. Louis and all of Missouri for the Union.
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The state was the scene of numerous raids and guerrilla warfare in the west. Army after established a series of military posts across the frontier, designed to stop warfare among Indian tribes or between Indians and settlers. Throughout the 19th century, Army officers typically served built their careers in peacekeeper roles moving from fort to fort until retirement. Actual combat experience was uncommon for any one soldier. The most dramatic conflict was the Sioux war in Minnesota in , when Dakota tribes systematically attacked German farms in an effort to drive out the settlers.
Over a period of several days, Dakota attacks at the Lower Sioux Agency , New Ulm and Hutchinson , slaughtered to white settlers. The state militia fought back and Lincoln sent in federal troops. The federal government tried Indians for murder, and were convicted and sentenced to death. Lincoln pardoned the majority, but 38 leaders were hanged. The decreased presence of Union troops in the West left behind untrained militias; hostile tribes used the opportunity to attack settlers.
The militia struck back hard, most notably by attacking the winter quarters of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, filled with women and children, at the Sand Creek massacre in eastern Colorado in late Kit Carson and the U.
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Army in trapped the entire Navajo tribe in New Mexico, where they had been raiding settlers, and put them on a reservation. The result by was millions of new farms in the Plains states, many operated by new immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia. With the war over and slavery abolished, the federal government focused on improving the governance of the territories.
It subdivided several territories, preparing them for statehood, following the precedents set by the Northwest Ordinance of It standardized procedures and the supervision of territorial governments, taking away some local powers, and imposing much "red tape", growing the federal bureaucracy significantly. Federal involvement in the territories was considerable. In addition to direct subsidies, the federal government maintained military posts, provided safety from Indian attacks, bankrolled treaty obligations, conducted surveys and land sales, built roads, staffed land offices, made harbour improvements, and subsidized overland mail delivery.
Territorial citizens came to both decry federal power and local corruption, and at the same time, lament that more federal dollars were not sent their way.
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Territorial governors were political appointees and beholden to Washington so they usually governed with a light hand, allowing the legislatures to deal with the local issues. In addition to his role as civil governor, a territorial governor was also a militia commander, a local superintendent of Indian affairs, and the state liaison with federal agencies. The legislatures, on the other hand, spoke for the local citizens and they were given considerable leeway by the federal government to make local law.
These improvements to governance still left plenty of room for profiteering. As Mark Twain wrote while working for his brother, the secretary of Nevada, "The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.
In acquiring, preparing, and distributing public land to private ownership, the federal government generally followed the system set forth by the Land Ordinance of Federal exploration and scientific teams would undertake reconnaissance of the land and determine Native American habitation. Through treaty, land title would be ceded by the resident tribes.
Townships would be formed from the lots and sold at public auction. As part of public policy, the government would award public land to certain groups such as veterans, through the use of "land script". As a counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to enable them to buy larger tracts than the acre 0.
In , Congress passed three important bills that transformed the land system. The Homestead Act granted acres 0.
The only cost was a modest filing fee. The law was especially important in the settling of the Plains states. Many took free homestead and others purchased their land from railroads at low rates. The Pacific Railway Acts of provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad.
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The land given the railroads alternated with government-owned tracts saved for free distribution to homesteaders. Railroads had up to five years to sell or mortgage their land, after tracks were laid, after which unsold land could be purchased by anyone. Often railroads sold some of their government acquired land to homesteaders immediately to encourage settlement and the growth of markets the railroads would then be able to serve.