Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site

On May 8, 1846, General Zachary Taylor and his troops defeated a larger Mexican army on this site in the first major battle of the Mexican-American War. The visitor center does an excellent job of putting the battle into context: were the Americans invaders or defenders? The result is a surprisingly evocative and moody place.

Following the paved trails that trace the location of the opposing battle lines, it’s easy to imagine the soldiers of both sides toiling in the heat, firing cannons and wondering how they ended up in such a desolate place. (Note the display showing what Texas commentators of the day called Abraham Lincoln – a war and slavery critic – and contrast it to the politics of today.)

The site is near the intersection of FM 1847 (Paredes Line Rd) and FM 511, 5 miles north of Brownsville, 2 miles east of US 77/83 and 3.5 miles south of TX 100, the main road to SPI.

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