NPS bar for print

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Battlefields in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley

The Palmito Ranch Battlefield looks much as it did in 1865 during the battle of Palmito Ranch.

Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville is one of only a handful of places in the U.S. that have that have been involved in more than one war. The Mexican-American War’s first battle was fought over Fort Brown in modern-day Brownsville. Later, the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma took place north of the city. In 1865, Confederate troops marched east from Fort Brown and fought at Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War. Because of Brownsville’s role as a gateway to Mexico, these battlefields are threatened by development. To help preserve them, the American Battlefield Protection Program has awarded four Battlefield grants in the past decade: Palmito Ranch archeological survey (2000), Resaca de la Palma archeological and resource survey (2002), Palmito Ranch cultural resource inventory (2009), and Fort Brown cultural landscape inventory (2010). These grants have generated enormous interest in battlefield preservation and, at Resaca de la Palma, helped save a National Historic Landmark.

Photo: The Palmito Ranch Battlefield looks much as it did in 1865 during the battle of Palmito Ranch.
– NPS/Kathleen Madigan, 2008

Learn More