Today we visited the Brownsville Texas area. It was a full day sightseeing trip and we visited the following locations: The Palo Alto Battlefield and Palmetto Ranch Battlefields, Boca Chica beach, Brownsville, Port Isabel and South Padre Island.
The Palo Alto Battlefield was quite interesting, there are improved trails that take you to the battle lines of the US and Mexican armies. The interpretive center gives a comprehensive explanation of the causes of the Mexican American War and the impact to Mexico and the United States because of the war. Briefly Texas had been admitted to the Union on December 2, 1945. The Republic of Texas claimed a huge territory (extending into present day Wyoming) because of its war of independence from Mexico in 1836. The claimed area was much more than the Republic of Texas could effectively exert control over, and much of the residents in the uncontrolled area still considered themselves as Mexican citizens.
Many Mexican leaders considered Texas still a part of Mexico. The USA considered all the land claimed by the Republic of Texas as a part of the USA because of the statehood of Texas.
Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican American War and occurred North of the Rio Grande River in the area that was disputed by Mexico. The result of the war was that the USA doubled in size and stretched to the Pacific Ocean. Mexico lost about one-half of its territory when it lost the war. Read more about this war.
As we were on our way to the beach, we also stopped and listened to the radio narrative of the Civil War Battle of Palmetto Ranch, which was fought more than a month after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee and was the last land battle of the Civil War. Learn more about this battle.
It was interesting that within 20 miles we could visit the site of the first land battle of one war and the last land battle of another war.
Boca Chica beach is the southernmost beach in Texas, it ends at the Rio Grande River. It is literally the tip of Texas and is the starting point for our current journey along the Gulf of Mexico to the tip of Florida.
Elaine is standing in the surf on the beach, water 69 degrees/ air 84 degrees, pointing to Mexico less than a mile away.
We made a quick trip to Port Isabel and South Padre Island, we’ll leave their discussion to a future ToadDate when we camp on the island.