Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Numbers 16-17
16-Bosque-Larios Expedition | 16-Nueces, C.S.A., Camp | 17-Zavala County

Southern Texas Map

16-Bosque-Larios Expedition

Marker Title: The Bosque-Larios Expedition
City: La Pryor vicinity
County: Zavala
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: Roadside park 8-10 miles north of La Pryor on US 83
Marker Text: In the 16th century, northern Mexico was torn by strife as the Indian inhabitants resisted Spanish efforts to enslave them. A century later, wealthy humanitarian Antonio Balcarcel set out to invoke justice and help missionaries Christianize the land. In the spring of 1675, Balcarcel sent out an armed expedition under Fernando Del Bosque to accompany Fray Juan de Larios on a mission north of the Rio Grande. Also in the party was Fray Dionisio de San Buenaventura, an army chaplain. Entering Texas at a site near present Eagle Pass, the expedition marched almost to the present site of San Antonio. Three days after entering Texas, when they were in camp of the Nueces, about nine miles southwest of present Uvalde, they set up a portable altar. The expeditionaries gathered with some 1,172 Indians to hear Fray Larios chant the Mass. Later Fray Larios baptized 55 infants and instructed the adult Indians so that they might be baptized at a future time. The celebration at the Nueces on May 16, 1675, is known as the earliest recorded occasion of a high (sung) Mass in Texas. Missionary activity that began on that day eventually brought about the founding of the Texas mission system. (1975)

16-Camp Nueces, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Camp Nueces, C.S.A.
City: La Pryor vicinity
County: Zavala
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Roadside park north of La Pryor (@ 8-10 miles) on US 83
Marker Text: Founded April 1862 near this site, to guard vital traffic as it crossed the Nueces on the San Antonio Eagle Pass Road. A post of the Confederacy's frontier regiment, under Col. James M. Norris. Its duty was to see that cotton got through to Mexico and munitions, medicines and factory goods came north to supply the Confederacy. One of the chain of posts a day's horseback ride apart, on line from Red River to Rio Grande. Never able to relax, in constant danger of Indian raids; short of food, horses and guns, Nueces (like other frontier camps) had none of war's glory and more than its share of hardships. Located in Zavala County, created in 1858 and named for Lorenzo de Zavala. This is one of 10 counties to commemorate colonizers. Of the 254 counties, 42 have Indian, French or Spanish names. 12 honor Washington and other American patriots. 96 were named for 1836-1846 heroes of the Republic of Texas (including 15 who died in the Alamo). 23 have names of other early statesmen. 11 honor U.S. leaders in the campaign to annex Texas. 10 honor state jurists, ministers, educators, statesmen, historians. 36 are named for leading men of the southern Confederacy. 14 have names from local geography. (1965)

17-Zavala County

Marker Title: Zavala County
City: Crystal City
County: Zavala
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Location: US 83 south to US 65 east (left) until you see Zavala County courthouse highway sign, make a left (marker's on right).
Marker Text: Explored as early as 1691 by the expedition of Domingo Teran de Los Rios, Spanish governor of Texas. The historic San Antonio Road crossed this region from southwest to northeast and was used by most of the Spanish explorers and travelers of the 18th century. French-American explorer St. Denis used it in 1714, as did the Canary Islanders, who made one of the first civil settlements in San Antonio, in 1718. The county was created in 1858 from Uvalde and Maverick counties and named for Texas patriot and statesman Lorenzo de Zavala. Not until 1884, however, did enough people reside here to permit it to be organized. The first county seat was Bates City, later renamed Batesville. First judge was J. M. Downs and commissioners were W. C. Mangum, E. P. Waller, V. M. West and G. B. Kenney. Before 1884 was out, a school election had been held in Palo Blanco, and a $7,500 contract had been let for a courthouse and jail. When the county seat moved to Crystal City (1928) courthouse and jail were built here. New courthouse erected 1969 at cost of $475,000 was commissioned by 1968-1969 county courts: Irl Taylor, Judge; Cecil Davis, Jr.; F. D. Keller, Jr.; H. R. Reynolds; E. B. Ross; Jesus Rodriguez; and Henry Volz, Jr., commissioners. (1969)

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