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Stage Coach to the Rio Grande (C.S.A.)

Texas Historical Marker - Stage Coach to the Rio Grande (C.S.A.)

Texas Historical Marker

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About 10 miles east of this site during the Civil War was Paso Real, ferry point on Arroyo Colorado. As early as 1846, stagecoaches had gone over Paso Real Ferry (the name probably meant "The King's Pass"). In the 1860s, the spot had international importance. It was a crossing for the Cotton Road, lifeline of the Confederacy. When Federal coastal blockades had cut off imports and exports for the entire south, this road moved cotton down to Matamoros so that it could be exchanged for guns, ammunition, medicines, cloth, shoes, blankets and many other vital goods.

Besides the prized cotton loads that went past Paso Real, the stagecoach connection there was of importance of Confederate and foreign businessmen, government agents, diplomats and army personnel. This was an area of conflict and intrigue. Bandits and army deserters watched the road for stages and cotton wagons to pilfer. Mysterious travelers went this way--sometimes with a pursuing sheriff on the next stage.

Of 31 stagelines in Confederated Texas (hauling mail, soldiers, civilians), no other was more vital or more interesting to travel than this through Paso Real. (1965)

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