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.
More information on Bagdad, Mexico
Bagdad-Matamoros, C. S. A.
Sunken City of Bagdad