Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 26 – Eagle Pass, TX – Gulf Coast / Rio Grande Trip

Day's Travel mileage 210 total mileage to date 1613 miles

Today was one of our longer travel days. We are spending the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot and will continue our journey tomorrow. This is certainly one of the busier Wal-Marts that we had been at, especially for a smaller town. The Mexican city of Piedras Negras is just the across the Rio Grande that divides the two cities and two countries. I image that being just a few blocks from Mexico accounts for the high Wal-Mart traffic.

Eagle Pass was the first United States settlement on the Rio Grande. Originally known as Camp Eagle Pass, it served as a temporary outpost for the Texas militia, which had been ordered to  stop illegal trade with Mexico during the Mexican-American War.

The United States Army established the presumably permanent Fort Duncan on March 27, 1849, a couple of miles upstream from Camp Eagle Pass. The building of the fort was supervised by Captain Sidney Burbank. It was named for Colonel James Duncan, a hero of the Mexican War. After the war, trade flourished under the protection of the fort. The fort was near the trail of westward immigration to California. It also served as an outpost against hostile Apache. It was abandoned and reopened several times. In March 1860, it served as the base of operations against the border assaults arranged by Juan N. Cortina.

Fort Duncan was held by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. On July 4, 1865, General Joseph O. Shelby, en route to offer his troops' service to Maximilian in Mexico, stopped at Fort Duncan and buried in the Rio Grande the last Confederate flag to have flown over his men. In 1870, Colonel William R. Shafter trained Seminole and African American scouts at Fort Duncan. After several decades of deactivation, Fort Duncan was activated as a training camp during World War I. In 1938, the City of Eagle Pass acquired the fort and still operates a museum and a children's library at the site.

In 1850, Rick Pawless opened a trading post called Eagle Pass. In 1871, Maverick County was established, and Eagle Pass was named the county seat. During the remainder of the 1800s schools and churches opened, the mercantile and ranching industries grew, and a railway was built.

General William Leslie Cazneau (1807-1876) founded the Eagle Pass townsite in the 1840s.


Eagle Pass Today

Yes, it was another raining day as you can see the clouds are still following us.


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