Historian Jerry Thompson tells the story of what historian William H. Goetzmann has called a “wild and vivid land.” From Coahuiltecan Native Americans and colonizers along the Rio Grande, to oil wildcatters of the brush country. Further more, Thompson details six centuries of history in detailed text and illustrations. It was on the South Texas border that the Mexican War began and the Civil War ended. Over the centuries the border area has been the setting for extraordinary events. For instance, readers will see steamboat commerce on the Rio Grande; the Civil War cotton trade; the cattle industries; the coming of railroads in the 1880s; and the citrus, oil, and gas industries of the twentieth century. Above all, this book of remarkable pictures and stories is the kind one returns to again and again. The South Texas border becomes vivid in the mind–a singular and an unforgettable encounter.