Gulf Coast
Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark
Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark Information:
The battle at Palmito Ranch was fought on May 12-13, 1865 on the banks of the Rio Grande River, approximately 12 miles east of Brownsville, Texas. It was the last battle of the Civil War and was fought more than a month after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in the Eastern Theater of the War. It was fought on May 12-13, a month after General Lee’s surrender. The Union and Confederate forces in southern Texas were observing a truce, but Union Colonel Theodore H. Barret ordered an attack on the Confederate Camp near Fort Brown in present day Brownsville. The Union attackers captured a few prisoners, but on the second day, the Confederate troops were victorious. This battleground site is located adjacent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Boca Chica NWR Tract. (512) 463-5833. From Brownsville, take Route 4 (Boca Chica Road) approximately 12 miles east of Brownsville.Note that the site has a few roadside kiosks and that the battleground is very grown over with South Texas brush.
Battle of Palmito Ranch, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“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.” From Brownsville, take Route 4 (Boca Chica Road) approximately 12 miles east of Brownsville. Photos and Information
Annual Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark Park Day:
Park Day is an annual event which seeks volunteers to clean and repair the grounds of Civil War battlefields. At each site, volunteers receive a free T-shirt, patches (while supplies last) and have the opportunity to hear historians interpret the battle. This event is hosted by the Texas Historical Commission, the Civil War Trust and History (formerly the History Channel) and the National Park Service. Please email the Texas Historical Commission’s Military Sites Program Coordinator for details regarding the current event. 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Lower Gulf Coast Region:
Arroyo Colorado Loop:  Harlingen. Rio Hondo, Los Palomas WMA, Adolph Thomae Jr. Co. Park
Longoria Loop:  west of Harlingen; Santa Rosa, Combes, Sebastian
Los Loros Loop:  Harlingen Area
Laguna Madre Loop:  Los Fresnos, Palo Alto Battlefield, Laguna Vista, Port Isabel
Texas Birds Checklist
Cameron County Butterfly Checklist
South Padre Island WBC Bird Checklist
Resaca de la Palma WBC Bird Checklist, Brownsville
Resaca de la Palma State Park (Prior to being a WBC) Bird Checklist, Brownsville
Laguna Atascosa NWR Bird Checklist
Laguna Atascosa NWR Butterfly Checklist
Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert:(956) 584-2731.