Project Brief

To order a tourism brochure or map please contact:


Roseann Bacha-Garza
CHAPS Program Manager
Phone: (956) 665-3231


As the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial observation near its conclusion in 2015, the CHAPS Program at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has initiated a community engagement project to launch the first Civil War Trail in the state of Texas. Master scholars and published authors have been brought in to consult with Texas Historical Commission experts as well as regional university professors, National Park Service personnel, historians/historical commission leaders, museum curators, ecotourism developers, preservation architects and elected city officials.

Located on the south Texas border region known as the Rio Grande Valley, this trail traverses a five-county region along the Rio Grande [river] between Brownsville and Laredo with a few sites inland where applicable. As Professors of History at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, we feel that it is an important facet of American History to highlight the fact that the last battle of the Civil War was fought along the Mexican border at Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas. During the Civil War, the Rio Grande served as a significant point of contention forming one of the Confederacy’s claimed international borders; a source for both international recognition and trade. Of course, the Union contested both of these. Skirmishes between both Union and Confederate forces erupted along the border between the military forts of Fort McIntosh in Laredo, Ringgold Barracks in Rio Grande City and Fort Brown in Brownsville.

In February 2015, the Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail was launched with a bilingual website, bilingual podcasts and bilingual trail guide.