In 1859 and early 1860 a series of raids on Texas settlements led by Juan N. Cortina (1824-1894) led to skirmishes with companies of Texas Rangers and U. S. soldiers. These conflicts became known as the Cortina War. On February 4, 1860, a battle occurred at La Bolsa Bend (ca. 1 mi. S.) between Cortina's raiders and Captain John S. "Rip" Ford's Texas Rangers. The Rangers successfully defended the riverboat "Ranchero", traveling downstream from Rio Grande City, from an attack by Cortina's band. Cortina escaped into Mexico and later became a general in the Mexican Army.