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Major Neighbors returns to San Antonio after leading historic western surveying expedition


On this day in 1849, Maj. Robert S. Neighbors arrived in San Antonio after leading an expedition to survey an upper, or northern, route to El Paso. His expedition was one of several sent out to open a practical wagon road to the west. The expedition formed at Torrey's Trading Post near Waco, left the trading post on March 23, 1849, crossed the Colorado River on April 2, and crossed the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing on April 17. They reached the Rio Grande on April 25 and El Paso on May 2. Considering the last hundred miles too difficult for wagons, Neighbors took a northern return route previously used by the Mexican army between El Paso and the Pecos River. He reported that the route could be used by wagons and proceeded on to Fredericksburg and finally San Antonio. Today's railroads and highways generally follow his survey.

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