CLARKSVILLE, TX (CAMERON COUNTY)

Cyrus Tilloson

CLARKSVILLE, TEXAS (Cameron County). Clarksville was near the mouth of the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican city of Bagdad. During the Mexican War a temporary army camp stood there, with William H. Clark, a civilian, in charge. Clark set up a country store and served as agent for the steamship lines using the port. The town quickly developed; houses were built up on stilts to be above high water. During the early part of the Civil War Clarksville thrived on the trade of the Confederate blockade-runners, but in 1863 it was captured by federals, who held it most of the time until the end of the war. The last battle of the war was fought four miles away at Palmito Ranch. In 1867 Clarksville was almost destroyed by a hurricane but survived during the days of the river steamer. In 1872 it received another blow when the railway was built from Brownsville to Point Isabel, and severe storms in 1874 and 1886 finished it. In 1953 the river had changed its course and flowed over the site of Clarksville.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Houston Chronicle, April 19, 1926. Dick King, Ghost Towns of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1953). Florence J. Scott, Old Rough and Ready on the Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1935).

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Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Cyrus Tilloson, "CLARKSVILLE, TX (CAMERON COUNTY)," accessed February 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvc54.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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