Brownsville is a straggling town of about 3,000 inhabitants; most of its houses are wooden ones, and its streets are long, broad, and straight.
There are about 4,000 troops under General Bee in its immediate vicinity. Its prosperity was much injured when Matamoros was declared a free port.
After crossing the Rio Grande, a wide dusty road, about a mile in length, leads to Matamoros, which is a Mexican city of about 9,000 inhabitants.
Its houses are not much better than those at Brownsville, and they bear many marks of the numerous revolutions which are continually taking place there. Even the British Consulate is riddled with the bullets fired in 1861-2.