Large salt lake located 26 miles northeast was principal source of salt in South Texas during the Civil War. Put under state guard and agent 1862. Salt sold to families, Texas Military Board, Army of Confederacy and wagons returning north on cotton road-vital trade route for South thru Mexico. Due to military and domestic importance, Union forces periodically wrecked the salt works from November 1863 until war's end. It was also a Texas Confederate base for the 1864 recapture of Brownsville.
A memorial to Texas who served the Confederacy; erected by the State of Texas 1963.
Salting or smoking were only was to preserve meat at time of Civil War. When South levied a meat tithe, salt necessary to cure bacon and beef for military. Salt was a must for horses and mules used by cavalry, artillery and supply wagons. Hides were preserved with it to make leather for shoes and harness. Other wartime salt works were operated along coast and in 7 counties in central, east and west Texas. La Sal del Rey, Spanish for "Salt for the King" also played a significant role in the history of Texas mineral law. A legal controversy raged for years over its ownership. Under Spain, mineral rights belonged to crown. Mexico retained the principle of the state ownership of minerals. Texas, as Republic and State, kept minerals in the public domain. Private possession of the lake began with the 1866 Texas Constitutional Convention which relinquished all minerals to landowners. The principle of private ownership was readopted in the Constitutions of 1869 and 1876.