History & Culture
Library of Congress
War on the Horizon
In the Spring of 1846, all eyes turned toward events on the Rio Grande.
When a long-brewing territorial dispute between the United States and Mexico erupted into war, residents of both nations clamored for details. Battle accounts filled the columns of the daily papers. Places like Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma became household names. So did the names of dozens of soldiers who served in these battles and emerged as heroes or celebrities. Caught in the excitement of the moment, politicians and citizens alike engaged in fierce debates about the causes, justice, and meaning of the conflict.
Today, the Battle of Palo Alto and the U.S.-Mexican War have faded from public attention, but remain important in the history of both nations. In the following pages, we encourage you to learn more about this conflict and to rediscover some of the notable people and places that to captured public attention in the spring of 1846.
Did You Know?
Both Confederate and Union troops used the Palo Alto Battlefield as a campground during Civil War campaigns in the Rio Grande Valley.