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OLD MILITARY ROAD. The Old Military Road between Fort Brown at Brownsville and Fort Ringgold at Rio Grande City was built as a possible supply route for Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. Taylor had set up a supply base at Camargo, opposite Rio Grande City, for his movement into the interior of Mexico. Although most historians agree that the bulk of supplies and troops were transported upriver by steamboat, the road was used when the river was low and when time was short; the trip up the meandering river took almost two days. Writers disagree as to who actually laid out the road. Credit is given to both George Brinton McClellan and George Gordon Meade, who were engineers with Taylor. The road went through most of the old towns of the Rio Grande valley. In the 1960s most of the old road was paved and was a portion of U.S. Highway 281.


Virgil N. Lott, The Rio Grande Valley (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1954).

Dixie L. Jones


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Dixie L. Jones, "OLD MILITARY ROAD," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.