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Palmito Ranch Battlefield

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


Palmito Ranch Battlefield is a magnificent sight of history. It has been preserved well. About 5400 acres of this battlefield is protected The National Register of Historic Places. This battlefield is important for many reasons, first reason is that it was the battlefield where last major battle of Civil War took place. The other key point is that Confederates won the battle here against Union. This battle provided opportunity for Union to improve their strategy and man power.


The last land engagement of the Civil War was fought near this site on May 12-13, 1865, thirty-four days after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Col. Theodore H. Barrett commanded Federal troops on Brazos Island 12 miles to the east. The Confederates occupied Fort Brown 12 miles to the west, commanded by Gen. James E. Slaughter and Col. John S. (Rip) Ford, whose troops had captured Fort Brown from the Federals in 1864.

Ordered to recapture the fort, Lt. Col. David Branson and 300 men advanced from Brazos Island. They won a skirmish with Confederate pickets on May 12. Barrett reinforced Branson's troops with 200 men on May 13 and renewed the march to Fort Brown. Confederate cavalry held the Federals in check until Ford arrived with reinforcements that afternoon. Ford's artillery advanced and fired on the northern end of the Federal line while the cavalry charged. The Confederate right charged the southern end of the Federal line and captured part of the Union infantry. Barrett ordered a retreat toward the U.S. position on Brazos Island.

While the Confederates reported no fatalities in the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the Union forces reported four officers and 111 men killed, wounded or missing.

Visitors are welcomed throughout the year, volunteers are provided to give more information about the site. Please make sure to bring your ID with you, because this area is located near Mexico Border, and sometimes local police might question you, and not having the ID might cause some problems. You can contact the information center at (512) 463-6100 or email If you will also tune to 1610 AM, the radio station will give you more information about the site as well.


  • Military History
This location was created on 2013-12-13 by Z Z .   It was last updated on 2016-08-08 by Erich Smith .

This entry has been viewed 311 times within the past year


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