|Landing at Bagdad Mexico in 1864|
|Historic Accounts of Life in South Texas|
|From "Three Months in the Southern States" by Lieut. Col Freemantle – Published 1864|
1st April. —Anchored at 8. 30 p. m. , three miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande, or Rio Bravo del Norte, which is, I believe, its more correct name, in the midst of about seventy merchant vessels.
2d April. —The Texan and I left the Immortality, in her cutter, at 10 a. m. , and crossed the bar in fine style. The cutter was steered by Mr. Johnston, the master, and having a fair wind, we passed in like a flash of lightning, and landed at the miserable village of Bagdad, on the Mexican bank of the Rio Grande.
The bar was luckily in capital order—3½ feet of water, and smooth. It is often impassable for ten or twelve days together: the depth of water varying from 2 to 5 feet. It is very dangerous, from the heavy surf and under-current; sharks also abound. Boats are frequently capsized in crossing it, and the Orlando, lost a man on it about a month ago.
Seventy vessels are constantly at anchor outside the bar; their cotton cargoes being brought to them, with very great delays, by two small steamers from Bagdad. These steamers draw only 3 feet of water, and realize an enormous profit.
Bagdad consists of a few miserable wooden shanties, which have sprang into existence since the war began. For an immense distance endless bales of cotton are to be seen.
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