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Cameron County Historical Markers

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Map of Cameron County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Bagdad-Matamoros, C.S.A. | Balli, Padre J. Nicolas | Brazos Santiago Pass and Brazos Island Military Depot | Brazos Santiago, C.S.A. | Brownsville, C.S.A. | Brownsville-Matamoros Ferries and River Boardwalk | Brownsville Museum, Historic | Cameron County | Cameron County Courthouse of 1883-1914 | Camp Belknap | Chisholm Trail | Davis, President, C.S.A., Jefferson | Federal Court Site | Fort Brown | Fort Brown, Buildings 85 & 86 | Fort Brown Cavalry Barracks | Fort Brown Commissary/Guardhouse | Fort Brown Reservation | Fort Brown Texas | Fort Polk | Gem, The | Hebrew Cemetery | La Feria | La Madrilena | Las Rucias | Alonso de Leon Expeditions | Longoria Cemetery | Palmetto Pilings | Palmito Ranch, Battle of | Palo Alto, Battle of | Point Isabel, C.S.A. | Port Isabel | Port Isabel Historical Museum | Port of Matamoros | Post Hospital | Battle of Resaca de la Palma | Rio Grande Valley Museum | Rogers Massacre | Rancho de Santa Maria | Santa Rita | Stagecoach to the Rio Grande, C.S.A. | Stillman House Museum | Thornton Skirmish
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Journey Through Civil War Brownsville to Houston

Historical Sites

Bagdad-Matamoros, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Bagdad-Matamoros, C.S.A.
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Xeroscape Park, corner of E. Elizabeth Street and International Bridge, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Civil War "Sister Cities", across the river in neutral Mexico. Were linked to Texas by a ferry which landed here. Ferry hauled to Matamoros the Confederate cotton brought from East Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas to Brownsville. In Matamoros, many speculators and agents vied for cotton to ship to Europe, via Havana. They offered in exchange vital goods: guns, ammunition, drugs, shoes, cloth. At Bagdad, on the Gulf, cotton was loaded from small boats onto ships riding the Gulf of Mexico. Goods crossing here were the South's lifeblood.

Padre J. Nicolas Balli

Marker Title: Padre J. Nicolas Balli
City: Port Isabel
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: PR 100, east end of causeway (3 miles east of Port Isabel), South Padre Island.
Marker Text: Padre Island, off the South Texas coast, is named for Padre Jose Nicolas Balli (177?-1829), whose family migrated from Spain in 1569 and became large landowners in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1800 Balli applied to King Charles IV of Spain for 11 1/2 leagues of land on the island, and in 1804 started its first settlement, Rancho Santa Cruz. Padre Balli served as collector of finances for all the churches in the Rio Grande Valley and founded the first mission in present Cameron County. Padre Balli's ministry was a great influence on the lives of early South Texas settlers.

Brazos Santiago Pass and Brazos Island Military Depot

Marker Title: Brazos Santiago Pass and Brazos Island Military Depot
City: South Padre Island
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: Isla Blanca Park, near intersection of Park Rd. 100 & Channelview.
Marker Text: Named by the Spanish, Brazos Santiago Pass is a narrow passageway extending inward from the sea. The pass lies between Brazos Island and Padre Island. The changing depths of the pass channel kept large vessels from entering, but offered seclusion to smaller ships. The entire area proved strategically important in a variety of military conflicts. Brazos Santiago harbor became part of the Texas revolution when the Texas warship "Invincible" heavily damaged the Mexican warship "Bravo" in April 1836. Supplies bound for the Mexican Army did not reach their destination. In 1846, U. S. Army General Zachary Taylor set up a military depot at the mouth of Brazos Santiago Pass on Brazos Island. during the war with Mexico, thousands of volunteers were encamped here, awaiting transfer to other locations. In February 1861, the U. S. Army surrendered the depot to forces of the stat eof Texas prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. Federal soldiers landed unopposed in 1863 at Brazos Island, taking Fort Brown and Brownsville, only to abandon them less than a year later. In May 1865, the last battle of the Civil War was fought at nearby Palmito Ranch. The depot was abandoned following hurricane damage in 1867. (1996)

Brazos Santiago, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Brazos Santiago, C.S.A.
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: At Wells Point, Isla Blanca Park, South Padre Island (at Jetties).
Marker Text: Brazos Santiago Pass, to south of this spot, was important Confederate harbor-entry during the Civil War. On island across the pass were fort and town of Brazos Santiago, where on Feb. 21, 1861, Texas troops under Col. John S. Ford captured the U.S. depot with mortars, siege guns and ordnance. A Confederate battery was then set up. In March 1861, off the bar, on U.S.S. "Daniel Webster", E.B. Nichols and Maj. Fitzjohn Porter, acting for Texas and the U.S., arranged Federal evacuation of the Rio Grande. Blockade ships arrived Dec. 1861. Col. Ford shifted forces to Brownsville. Gen. J.B. Magruder, C.S.A., ordered blasting of lighthouse north of pass, 1862. Trade vital to Confederacy plied from Cuba, Europe, Asia to Bagdad, Mexico, often actually slipping into Brazos Santiago Pass. Harbor sheltered blockade runners 1861-64. On May 10, 1863, U.S.S. "Brooklyn" destroyed schooners in the harbor. Late 1863, French warships banned war material in Bagdad, and Mexican steam lighters ran guns from sea vessels into Brazos Santiago. Nov. 2, 1863, Gen. N.P. Banks landed U.S. Army here, took line of Rio Grande forts. Refortified Brazos Island and made it terminus for Army railroad to Rancho Blanco on Rio Grande. When C.S.A. retook Rio Grande Line in 1864, Federals in Brownsville were thrown back to Brazos Island. Col. Theodore H. Barrett, with troops from here, marching on Brownsville in May 1865, was confronted by Col. Ford's Confederates at Palmito Hill and fought last engagement of the Civil War.

Brownsville, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Brownsville, C.S.A.
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: Tourist Center, US Highway 77 & FM 802 (NW corner), Brownsville.
Marker Text: A major center of activity for Confederacy, chief depot for war material and supplies imported from Europe through neutral port of Bagdad, Mexico. Terminus of cotton road. Point of entry and departure for important personages of South in intercourse with outside world. Occupied by large Federal expeditionary force Nov. 6, 1863 after Confederates had destroyed Ft. Brown, cotton, commissary stores and supplies and had withdrawn. Became temporary seat of Union State Government with Texan A.J. Hamilton Military Governor. (BACK SIDE BROWNSVILLE, C.S.A.) When Confederate forces reoccupied Brownsville July 30, 1864 it resumed its importance as South's supply source and terminus of cotton road. Cotton export through Brownsville and other Rio Grande points means of survival of Confederacy west of the Mississippi. Imports from Europe and Mexico formed almost entire supply for military and civilian Gen. Magruder, Gen. Bee, Col. "Rip" Ford and other prominent Confederate officers headquarters here. Center of international intrigue throughout war. More

Brownsville-Matamoros Ferries and River Boardwalk

Marker Title: Brownsville-Matamoros Ferries and River Boardwalk
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Location: in Hope Park, at 14th and Levee streets, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Ferry service along this stretch of the Rio Grande evolved as population in the area increased. In 1836, General Jose Urrea used rowboats at the Paso Real ferry near the later site of Fort Brown en route to Goliad. General Vicente Filisola used the same service on his retreat from the Battle of San Jacinto. Charles Stillman, a Matamoros merchant and businessman, and his estate owned most of the ferry operations near this site from about 1846. The three main ferry ports were located at newly emerging Brownsville, Anacuitas (also called Paso Libre, then Shannondale and later Freeport) and Mansfield. Brownsville and Matamoros were integral to one another and the ferries, or chalans, were a lifeline between them. During the Civil War, the Confederates used ferries to transport cotton to Mexico while southern ports were blockaded by the Union Navy. During Union occupation of Brownsville in 1863, the banks of the Rio Grande were teeming with families waiting to cross the river into exile in Mexico. In the 1880s the ferry company built a plank walk from the railroad tracks to the Brownsville ferry dock because of complaints from passengers who had tired of walking through six inches or more of mud. The walk expanded as the ferry dock relocated several times, and soon the space was filled with a variety of shops catering to the bustling crowds of travelers. The Brownsville-Matamoros bridge was erected in 1910, but for a time only freight traffic on the river decreased. When the gateway bridge was built in 1928, the need for ferryboats vanished, and the boardwalk, by this time as much a part of local life as the river itself, vanished with them. (2000)

Brownsville Museum, Historic

Museum Name: Historic Brownsville Museum
Mailing Address: 641 E. Madison Street
City: Brownsville
Zip Code: 78520
Area Code: 956
Phone: 548-1313
County: Cameron

Cameron County

Marker Title: Cameron County
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Brownsville Tourist Center, corner of FM 802 and U.S. Highway 77, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Created February 21, 1848; From Nueces County; Organized August 7, 1848; Named in honor of Ewen Cameron, 1811-1843; Captain in the Mier Expedition; Shot at Queretaro; County Seat, Santa Rita 1848-1849; Brownsville, since the earliest battles of the Mexican War, and the last battle of the Civil War were fought in this county.

Cameron County Courthouse of 1883-1914

Marker Title: Cameron County Courthouse of 1883-1914
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: 1131 E. Jefferson Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Completed in 1883, this was the first courthouse built by Cameron County officials, who previously rented or purchased office space. This three-story brick structure served as the county courthouse until 1914, when a new building was erected. Rio Grande Lodge No. 81, A.F.&A.M., then occupied this structure. The original roof, with its gables and central tower, was removed during remodeling.

Camp Belknap

Marker Title: Camp Belknap
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take Route 4 (Boca Chica Road), about 16 miles east.
Marker Text: In May 1846 when war was declared against Mexico, the U.S. Congress authorized the raising of 50,000 volunteer troops to supplement the regular U.S. Army. General Zachary Taylor was quickly inundated with volunteer soldiers arriving at Brazos Santiago, and was forced to place them in temporary encampments. Camp Belknap, located on this site, was established in the summer of 1846. The camp was located on a long narrow rise of land, measuring about 2 miles in length and one-half mile at its widest point. It was the first high ground encountered after leaving the Gulf Coast. Thought to be the largest encampment for volunteer soldiers, troop estimates total 7,000-8,000 men including several regiments from eight states. Soldiers suffered exposure to the elements, unsanitary living conditions, overcrowding, biting insects, thorny plants, and disease. Many died a premature death, often resulting in one two two funerals daily. No enemy attacks took place despite one false alarm. During August and September most of the volunteers were moved upriver either to camps nearer Matamoros, or further to Camargo. The camp was completely empty by December 1846.

Chisholm Trail

Marker Title: Chisholm Trail
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: Xeroscope Park, corner of E. Elizabeth Street and International Boulevard, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Iberian range cattle, progenitors of the Texas longhorn, were brought into Texas by Spain in the 1600s and 1700s. The cattle thrived on the area's rich grasslands and roamed throughout Texas. At the time of the Texas Revolution (1835-36) vast Mexican ranchos with their illustrious vaqueros (Spanish for cowboys) were an established tradition in the Rio Grande Valley. By 1860 cattle ranching dominated land use in the region. Demand for beef rose dramatically after the Civil War. Longhorn cattle worth $2 and $3 in Texas sold for $30 and $40 in midwestern railroad centers such as Kansas City and Chicago. Area ranchers, aware of the longhorn's stamina, united to drive their cattle to frontier railroad terminals in Abilene and Dodge City. The Rio Grande was the southernmost point at which cattle were gathered for the drive north through Austin, Fort Worth, Red River station and into Oklahoma. There the trail joined the original 220-mile Chisholm Trail into Kansas established by Indian trader/guide Jesse Chisholm in 1865. The entire route and its feeder trails soon became widely known as the Chisholm Trail. An estimated 10 million cattle were driven north along the Chisholm Trail by the late 1870s when use of the trail was drastically curtailed by quarantines.

Jefferson Davis, President, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Jefferson Davis - President C.S.A.
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1926
Marker Location: Corner of E. Adams and 7th Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Commemorating the services to the United States of America of Jefferson Davis - President C.S.A. Graduated West Point 1828; Served on Indian Frontier 1828-1835; United States Congress 1845-1846; U.S.A. Col. Commanding Miss. Troops, Landed Point Isabel, Texas, 1846. Hero of Bueno Vista and Monterey; Declined Post Brigadier General U.S.A. Secretary of War 1853-1857; U.S. Senator (Miss.) 1849, '51, '57, '61 (Resigned); Soldier - Statesman - Martyr; Erected by United Daughters of the Confederacy 1926

Federal Court Site

Marker Title: Federal Court Site
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: 1201 E. Elizabeth Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Built 1850 by Wm. C. Douglas, who arrived with Gen. Zachary Taylor during Mexican War. In 1852 by order of U.S. Congress, first Federal Court in Brownsville was held in back room here by Judge John Watrous.

Fort Brown

Marker Title: Fort Brown
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Fort Brown - TX Southmost College Auditorium - corner of Elizabeth and International, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Oldest permanent fort in Texas; Called Fort Taylor in March, 1846; Later renamed in honor of Major Jacob Brown killed here in May, 1846; Permanent post established, 1849; Evacuated by Federal troops in 1861, by Confederates, 1863; Reoccupied by United States troops from 1865 to 1906; Again reoccupied by United States troops in 1913.

Fort Brown, Buildings 85 & 86

Marker Title: Fort Brown, Buildings 85 and 86
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Fort Brown, Gorgas Road, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Morgue and linen storage. 1867 Fort Brown Buildings 85 and 86. Brick fringe, cornice. Autopsies in yellow fever study were made here by Dr. Wm. C. Gorgas, Capt. Hennessey, Lt. Crowder, Dr. Melon, defying orders of superior officer. Dr. Gorgas became immune.

Fort Brown Cavalry Barracks

Marker Title: Fort Brown Cavalry Barracks
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1987
Marker Location: Fort Brown - Campus of TX Southmost College, Brownsville.
Marker Text: This building, associated with the rebuilding of Fort Brown after the Civil War, housed cavalry units until World War I, when it served as a quartermaster warehouse and commissary. Closed after World War II, the building was leased by private industry until purchased by Texas Southmost College. The one-story brick structure features an elongated T-plan, with a central entry through an arched opening, and reconstructed shed-roof porches.

Fort Brown Commissary/Guardhouse

Marker Title: Fort Brown Commissary/Guardhouse
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: Fort Brown - Grounds of TX Southwest College, Gorgias Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Constructed in 1905 to serve as a food storage facility, this building was abandoned one year later when Fort Brown was closed. Upon reactivation of the post during Mexican border disturbances, the building served as a guardhouse and jail. Among those quartered here were political refugees following the Battle of Matamoros on June 4, 1913. The structure features a loading dock and a shed roof with gabled dormer over the entrance.

Fort Brown Reservation

Marker Title: Fort Brown Reservation
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Ft. Brown-TX Southmost College 1600 East Elizabeth Street.
Marker Text: Named by Gen. Zachary Taylor during Mexican war, for Maj. Jacob Brown, who died in 1846 defending the post. Permanent 385-acre reservation laid out 1848 by Col. Wm. Davenport, around original earthworks. Young officers in the Taylor occupancy included D.C. Buell, U.S. Grant, Geo. G. Meade, Geo. H. Thomas, later Civil War general in the U.S. Army; and Braxton Bragg, T.H. Holmes, James Longstreet, J.C. Pemberton and E. Kirby Smith, future confederate generals. In the late 1850's Robert E. Lee served here. In March 1861, Texas confederates under Col. John S. Ford occupied the post; later C.S.A. Commanders were Cols. P.N. Luckett and Aug. Buchel, Gens. H.P. Bee and J.B. Magruder. In November 1863 the post was burned. Federals under Gen. N.P. Banks had a camp of tents at Fort Brown until July 1864. After that, Gen. J.S. Slaughter and Col. Ford reoccupied the post with confederates until the war ended. Soon after the confederate surrender at Appomatox, U.S. Gen. Phillip Sheridan brought in troops for a show of force against the French in Mexico City. In 1867-69, new permanent Fort was built by Capt. Wm. A. Wainwright. City and college acquired reservation in 1948. Northern boundary International Boulevard.

Fort Brown, Texas

Marker Title: Fort Brown, Texas
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1938
Marker Location: Fort Brown -Southmost College Golf Course-east end of Elizabeth, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Fort Taylor, renamed Fort Brown, May 17, 1846, in honor of Major Jacob Brown, 7th Infantry, who died here May 9, 1846, in its defense; Garrisoned by the 7th Infantry with Companies "I" 2nd Art. and "E" 3rd Artillery. Original dimensions: Earthwork of 800 yards perimeter, 6 bastion walls 9 1/2 ft. high, parapet 15 ft. wide, ditch 8 1/2 feet deep, 15 to 20 feet wide. Lieut. Thomas Barlow Chapter, D.A.R. 1938 (Marble slab mounted on concrete foundation. Erected by Fort Brown, U.S. Government.) (Said to have been in use somewhat, supplemented by barracks where Zachary Taylor Library is.)

Fort Polk

Marker Title: Fort Polk
City: Port Isabel
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: Corner of North Tarumna and p100 Port Isabel Lighthouse State Park, Port Isabel.
Marker Text: A mexican village developed on this point, settled by mexican ranchers in the 1700's. The village was abandoned prior to the U.S. Declaration of war with Mexico in 1846. U.S. Forces led by general Zachary Taylor occupied the point on March 24, 1846. Taylor erected a depot here to receive supplies from New Orleans. The six-sided Fort, named for President Polk, consisted of 4 sides of Earthen Embankments and 2 sides open to the shoreline. The Fort was abandoned in 1850 but the settlement it attracted eventually developed into Port Isabel. Remnants of the Fort were visible until the 1920's.

The Gem

Marker Title: The Gem
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1991
Marker Location: 400 East 13th Street; Brownsville
Marker Text: Built in 1848 for J.E. Garey and Company, this structure under subsequent ownership has housed a "drinking house", boutique and was the residence of Brownsville's first mayor, Robert S. Leman. The Gem is an excellent local example of mid-19th century commercial architecture influenced by vernacular traditions. Features include a five-bay facade, second floor balcony with full-length shutters, first floor french doors, and detailed corbelled brickwork.

Hebrew Cemetery

Marker Title: Hebrew Cemetery
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1996
Marker Location: 2nd and East Madison Streets, Brownsville
Marker Text: Jewish settlers came to the Brownsville/Matamoros area in the mid-1840's. In 1868 one half acre of land next to the city cemetery was purchased by the Hebrew Benevolent society from Charles Stillman for $1. Victims of an 1858 yellow fever epidemic, who were originally buried in the city cemetery, were later reinterred here. This was the only Jewish burial ground to serve the lower Texas Valley and Matamoros until 1950. Among the many civic and business leaders buried here are immigrants from Europe and Veterans from every American War since 1845.

La Feria

Marker Title: La Feria
City: La Feria
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: Bus 83, 1 block east of US 83 and FM 506 Intersection, (near American Legional Hall) La Feria.
Marker Text: Site is on land surveyed 1777 for Spain's grants to Don Juan Hinojosa and Jose Mari Balli, ancestors of priest for whom Padre Island was named. Rancho raised cattle, sheep, goats. By 1790's it had a fairground (Hence name, La Feria) for Fiestas, horse racing, and other sports. After Mexican War (1846-48), Balli heirs had title confirmed by Texas. In 1850, Nathaniel White (d. 1901), cattleman and reputed smuggler, opened anglo ranching here. In 1906, townsite of La Feria was platted under original name. It is now a trade center for a thriving agricultural area.

La Madrilena

Marker Title: La Madrilena
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 1000 East Madison Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: A native of Spain, Adrian Ortiz (1860-1957) emigrated to Brownsville before he was 18 and lived with relatives who trained him as a merchant. He built this structure in 1892 to house his mercantile operation, La Madrilena (native of Madrid), an important community business for over 60 years. The vernacular store building features corbeled brickwork, parapets with pinnacles, and paneled doors with transoms.

Las Rucias

Marker Title: Las Rucias
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take US 281 northwest about 20 miles.
Marker Text: Colonel John S. Ford of the Confederate Army defeated the Union Forces June 25, 1864

Alonso de Leon Expeditions

Marker Title: Alonso de Leon Expeditions
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: From Los Rucias, take US 281 NW about 2 miles to roadside park.
Marker Text: Spain's desire to colonize this area of the New World in the late 17th Century was spurred by the fear that French adventurer Rene La Salle, who had landed on the Texas coast in 1684, was claiming vast areas for its bitter rival, France. In 1685 Spain's Mexican Viceroy directed Alonso de Leon to lead expeditions against French encroachment and protect Spain's claim by initiating the colonization of Texas. De Leon's first expedition in 1686 followed the Rio San Juan to the mouth of the Rio Grande. In 1687 his second expedition crossed the Rio Grande near present-day Roma, made its way to the river's mouth, and proceeded up the coast to near Los Olmos Creek and Baffin Bay. On his third expedition in 1688 de Leon captured Frenchman Jean Henri near present-day Brackettville. Convinced that the French had settled in Texas, de Leon led a military expedition in 1689 that crossed the Guadalupe River near present-day Victoria before discovering and destroying what remained of La Salle's Fort St. Louis settlement in the Matagorda Bay area. De Leon led an expedition into Southeast Texas in 1690 that established the area's first Spanish mission, San Francisco de los Tejas, and eventually led to Spain's great enterprise of colonizing Texas.

Longoria Cemetery

Marker Title: Longoria Cemetery
Address: 1.8 mi. E on US 281 at FM 506
City: Santa Maria
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Location: 1.8 miles east of Santa Maria on US 281 at FM 506
Marker Text: The Longoria family were among the initial Spanish settlers to arrive in this region in the mid-1700s. Juan Rosas Longoria and Maria Salome Cano were among the men and women who founded permanent communities such as the Villa de Reynosa, establishing the Longoria family in the area. They and other pioneers introduced ranching into the area with techniques brought from southern Spain, many of which remained in use centuries later. In 1831 Irineo Longoria increased the family landholdings north of the Rio Grande by purchasing portions of the Llano Grande, La Feria and Ojo de Agua land grants. He added these tracts to the land of his second wife, Maria Inez Cavazos. They established residence in the community of Santa Maria. The Longoria ranch stretched from what became Sebastian to the Rio Grande. The family also farmed the land and participated in the early development of irrigation systems in the Rio Grande valley. Juan Miguel Longoria (1815-1875) became the owner of the Longoria ranch in the mid-1800s. Married three times, he was the father of 17 children. His first wife was Soledad Cavazos. His second wife, Silveria Ruiz, became one of the first persons interred here upon her death before 1853. After his death, Juan Miguel's third wife, Teresa Guerra, became the family matriarch and managed the ranch from 1875 to 1909. Juan Miguel's grave is marked by an above-ground brick tomb. By the late 1990s, the cemetery was in a state of disrepair. Longoria descendants organized to restore the site and its estimated 371 graves to ensure the endurance of the Longoria Cemetery as a chronicle of the diverse history and heritage of Texas. (2000)

Palmetto Pilings

Marker Title: Palmetto Pilings
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take Route 4 (Boca Chica Road) about 20.3 miles east to Boca Ricia Beach (on roadside).
Marker Text: These Palmetto piling are the remains of the Boca Chica Crossing of the Railroad from Boca Chica inlet to White's Ranch on the Rio Grande. Begun by General Francis H. Herron, U.S.A., in 1864 and completed in 1865 by General Philip H. Sheridan for the transportation of military supplies. The Cypress piling 1,000 feet north are what remain of a floating bridge constructed across Boca Chica Inlet by General Zachary Taylor in 1846 as a part of the road from Brazos Santiago to the White Ranch Landing and Clarksville on the Rio Grande, for transportation of military supplies.

Battle of Palmito Ranch

Marker Title: Battle of Palmito Ranch
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1990
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take Route 4 (Boca Ricia Road), about 12 miles east.
Marker Text: The last land engagement of the Civil War was fought near this site on May 12-13, 1865, thirty-four days after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Col. Theodore H. Barrett commanded Federal troops on Brazos Island 12 miles to the east. The Confederates occupied Fort Brown 12 miles to the west, commanded by Gen. James E. Slaughter and Col. John S. (Rip) Ford, whose troops had captured Fort Brown from the Federals in 1864. Ordered to recapture the fort, Lt. Col. David Branson and 300 men advanced from Brazos Island. They won a skirmish with Confederate pickets on May 12. Barrett reinforced Branson's troops with 200 men on May 13 and renewed the march to Fort Brown. Confederate cavalry held the Federals in check until Ford arrived with reinforcements that afternoon. Ford's artillery advanced and fired on the northern end of the Federal line while the cavalry charged. The Confederate right charged the southern end of the Federal line and captured part of the Union infantry. Barrett ordered a retreat toward the U.S. position on Brazos Island. While the Confederates reported no fatalities in the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the Union forces reported four officers and 111 men killed, wounded or missing.

Battle of Palo Alto

Marker Title: Battle of Palo Alto
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take FM 1847 north about 5.5 miles to intersection of FM 1847 and FM 511.
Marker Text: Was fought here May 8, 1846 and was won by the Army of the United States.

Point Isabel, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Point Isabel, C.S.A.
City: Port Isabel
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: At library, corner of Maxan Street and Yturria Street.
Marker Text: After Texas seceded and joined the Confederacy, the Federal Navy in late 1861 blockaded this port with the U.S. "Santiago de Cuba". Commerce stoppage caused removal of customs offices to Brownsville and some civilians to neutral Bagdad, Mexico. The Confederates ceased to use the lighthouse, and it became a watch tower for blockade runners, and thus Laguna Madre their haven. Boats from the U.S.S. "Brooklyn", in May 1863, attacked vessels in port and a Confederate unit near the lighthouse. The Confederates tried to blow up the tower--a defense measure--but only succeeded in damaging fixtures. The French, supporting Maximilian in Mexico, prohibited the landing of war material at Bagdad. Defying both the French and U.S. Naval patrols, Mexican lighters from the Rio Grande landed here in Sept. 1863 with a large cargo of C.S.A. arms. In Nov. 1863, U.S. forces from the expedition of Gen. N.P. Banks occupied Point Isabel. The blockade was lifted and the port reactivated. In Aug. 1864, the Confederates drove the Federals across the bay to Brazos Island. The next march, Federal Gen. Lew Wallace (later author of "Ben Hur") met Confederate officers here to talk peace.

Port Isabel

Marker Title: Port Isabel (Old Point Isabel)
City: Port Isabel
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: SE corner of P100 and S. Garcia Street, Port Isabel.
Marker Text: Site of a ranch settlement, owned by Don Rafael Garcia, called "El Fronton de Santa Ysabel" (Bluff of Saint Isabel) about the year 1828. The Mexican custom station was located here in 1844, after the villages of Brazos Santiago and Boca Del Rio were swept away by storms. Goods landed here were at once freighted inland to Matamoros. After the Mexican War (1846-1848), the United States Post Office of "Point Isabel" was created on April 9, 1849. Efforts to build a railroad line to Brownsville in the 1850s did not succeed, but after the Civil War, in 1866, public demands for a rail line to Brownsville were met by Rio Grande steamboat interests, who chartered but refrained from building the road. In 1871, competitors formed the Rio Grande Railroad Company, obtained a charter, and put the line into service in 1873 from Brownsville to a terminus here (450 feet south of this marker). The line served until 1933 when a deep water channel was built to Brownsville.

Port Isabel Historical Museum

Museum Name: Port Isabel Historical Museum
Mailing Address: 305 E Maxan St.
Street Address: 317 Railroad St.
City: Port Isabel
Zip Code: 78578
Area Code: 210
Phone: 943-7602
County: Cameron

Port of Matamoros

Marker Title: Port of Matamoros
City: Port Isabel
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: On shore north of causeway, at end of east Maxan Street, Port Isabel.
Marker Text: The Port of Matamoros was established in 1824. Commercial cargo, shipped mainly from New Orleans and other U.S. ports, was unloaded at the port and transported overland to Matamoros, Reynosa, Camargo, Monterrey, and Mier. Mexico maintained a garrison and at least one Navy vessel at the port. This area was the site of numerous naval encounters between the U.S. and Mexico in 1836-37, during and after the Texas Revolution. Jurisdiction over the port was finally settled in 1846 when forces of U.S. General Zachary Taylor occupied the area at the outset of the Mexican War.

Post Hospital

Marker Title: Post Hospital
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: Admin. Bldg., campus of Texas Southmost College, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville.
Marker Text: In March 1868, Captain William Alonzo Wainwright arrived in Brownsville to supervise the rebuilding of Fort Brown following the Civil War and an 1867 hurricane. One of the first structures built under his direction was the Post Hospital, completed in 1869 and noted for its classical design and Palladian influences. First Lt. William C. Gorgas began studies that led to the discovery of the source of yellow fever while he was based here in 1883.

Battle of Resaca de la Palma

Marker Title: Battle of Resaca de la Palma
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Paredes Line Road, .2 mile north of Price Road, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Was fought here May 9, 1846; And the defeat of the Mexican Army under General Mariano Arista by the United States troops under General Zachary Taylor made good the claim of Texas to the territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande.

Rio Grande Valley Museum

Museum Name: Rio Grande Valley Museum
Mailing Address: Boxwood at Raintree
City: Harlingen
Zip Code: 78550
Area Code: 210
Phone: 430-8500
County: Cameron

Rogers Massacre

Marker Title: Rogers Massacre
City: Rio Hondo
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: From Rio Hondo, take FM 106 west about 3/4 mile then go north on FM 503 about 3/4 mile to intersection of FM 508 and FM 1420.
Marker Text: U.S. annexation of Texas in December 1845 intensified Mexico's asserted claim to Texas. In March 1846 U.S. Commander Zachary Taylor advanced his Federal Army beyond the Nueces River and established a supply base at Point Isabel and a garrison (Fort Brown) on the north bank of the Rio Grande. Roswell D. Denton, appointed by Taylor to transport supplies from New Orleans, enlisted Patterson Rogers and Sons, Anderson W. and William L. , to carry supplies from Corpus Christi to Point Isabel. The Rogerses, 9 other men, 3 women, and 4 children left Corpus Christi on April 25, 1846, with supplies bound for Point Isabel. Near this site on May 1, 1846, they were ambushed by Mexican bandits led by Juan Balli. Outnumbered and outgunned, Rogers surrendered when Balli offered prisoner-of-war protections. Balli broke his pledge and had two men shot to death. The rest of the men were bound and led to a bluff overlooking the Arroyo Colorado where their throats were slit and their bodies tossed into the Arroyo. The women and children were subsequently murdered. William Long Rogers miraculously survived and though severely wounded made his way over 40 miles to a ranch near Fort Brown. Rogers lived for many years and became a prominent South Texas citizen. (1994)

Rancho de Santa Maria

Marker Title: Rancho de Santa Maria
City: Santa Maria
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: From Blue Town, take SH 281 west about 1 miles, south side of road.
Marker Text: Part of Spain's 1777 La Feria Grant (12.5 leagues), partitioned into 6 units 1843. Here in 1850's was a sub-post of Fort Brown (28 mi. SE) and Fort Ringgold (65 mi. NW). This was proposed site in 1860's for "Homeville", this locality's first small-acreage promotion. Present compound, built 1870 by L.J. Hynes, has buildings for dairy, kitchen, ammunition. Hynes, first Postmaster (1876), had stage depot, general store, telegraph office, shipping wharf on river. Chapel was built 1880. In 1892, Frank Rabb bought the ranch. In 1916 border troubles, U.S. Army established headquarters here.

Santa Rita

Marker Title: Santa Rita
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Brownsville, take Highway 281 west 1 mile then go south about 100 yards (at Villa Nueva).
Marker Text: Here was Santa Rita; First Anglo-American settlement on lower Rio Grande and county seat of Cameron County; 1848 1849.

Stagecoach to the Rio Grande, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Stagecoach to the Rio Grande, C.S.A.
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Intersection of FM 508 and FM 1420 - closest point to Paso Real Crossing CF Arroyo Colorado. About 1 mile north of Rio Hondo.
Marker Text: About 10 miles east of this site during the Civil War was Paso Real, ferry point on Arroyo Colorado. As early as 1846, stagecoaches had gone over Paso Real Ferry (the name probably meant "The King's Pass"). In the 1860's, the spot had international importance. It was a crossing for the cotton road, lifeline of the Confederacy. When Federal coastal blockades had cut off imports and exports for the entire South, this road moved cotton down to Matamoros so that it coud be exchanged for guns, ammunition, medicines, cloth, shoes, blankets and many other vital goods. Besides the prized cotton loads that went past Paso Real, the stagecoach connection there was of importance to Confederate and foreign businessmen, government agents, diplomats and Army personnel. This was an area of conflict and intrigue. Bandits and Army deserters watched the road for stages and cotton wagons to pilfer. Mysterious travelers went this way--sometimes with a pursuing Sheriff on the next stage. Of 31 stagelines in Confederate Texas (hauling mail, soldiers, civilians), no other was more vital nor more interesting to travel than this through Paso Real.

Stillman House Museum

Museum Name: Stillman House Museum
Mailing Address: Box 849
Street Address: 1200 E. Washington
City: Brownsville
Zip Code: 78520
Area Code: 512
Phone: 542-3929
County: Cameron

Thornton Skirmish

Marker Title: Thornton Skirmish
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Las Rucias, take US 281 west 2 miles to roadside park.
Marker Text: The spot where "American blood was shed on American soil" April 25, 1846; here Captain Seth B. Thornton and 62 dragoons were attacked by Mexican troops.

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