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From These Honored DeadHistorical Archaeology of the American Civil War$
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Clarence R. Geier, Douglas D. Scott, and Lawrence E. Babits

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049441

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049441.001.0001

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An Archaeological Study of the Battlefield of Palmito Ranch

An Archaeological Study of the Battlefield of Palmito Ranch

“The Last Conflict of the Great Rebellion”

Chapter:
(p.57) 4 An Archaeological Study of the Battlefield of Palmito Ranch
Source:
From These Honored Dead
Author(s):

Charles M. Haecker

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049441.003.0005

The Battle of Palmito Ranch, fought May 12 and 13, 1865, is renowned as the last land engagement of the Civil War. The battle took place on an eight-mile-long expanse of salt prairie in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, halfway between Brownsville and Brazos Island, Texas. Palmito Ranch is important to our understanding of (1) the Confederacy's trans-Mississippi Department and Confederate and Union relations with Mexico and the France of Napoleon III; (2) the performance of black troops in combat; (3) the South's overwhelming logistical and foreign trade problems; (4) the perpetuation of Lost Cause legends; and (5) the character of Texas nationalism. In 2001 and 2002, National Park Service archaeologists conducted a sample survey of the Palmito Ranch battlefield to determine if battle-related artifacts were present in sufficient numbers to permit identification of specific battle events. Chapter 4 describes this research context, presents the archaeological record, discusses the findings of artifact analysis, and synthesizes project results.

Keywords:   Texas, Battle of Palmito Ranch, Lower Rio Grande River Valley, Mexico, France, Napoleon III, Texas nationalism, black troops

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