New Mexico is a state in the southwest region of the United States. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, it has also been part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics. It also has the third-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska and Oklahoma, and the fifth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas. At a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely inhabited U.S. state.
In July 1949, the United States successfully tested an atomic bomb 100 miles south of Albuquerque. The Administration covered up the test, which took place in the early morning and was felt for miles, by claiming it was an explosion at an ammo dump.
New Mexico's total area made it the largest state in the Union. The state was strategically critical to the U.S. as it bordered the Confederate states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Texas.
New Mexico saw fighting between U.S. and C.S. forces during the War of Secession (when the C.S. sought to annex the southern half of the state as the Confederate Territory of Arizona), the Second Mexican War, the Great War, and the Second Great War. Jeb Stuart and his Apache allies defeated several American garrisons in 1881, but in 1914-15 the United States Army successfully invaded Sonora and Texas from their bases in New Mexico, carving off sizable chunks of Confederate land. After the war, the state gained land from northwestern Sonora.
During the Second Great War, the U.S. Eleventh Army, under the command of Brigadier General Abner Dowling, assembled in eastern New Mexico and eventually drove the Confederate Army of West Texas out of Houston.