Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Robert S. Weddle

PASO DE NOGAL. This ford on the Rio Grande was one of five such crossings within approximately five miles of the mission settlement of San Juan Bautista (at the site of present Guerrero, Coahuila). Paso de Nogal was an alternate to Paso de Francia and Paso de los Pacuaches, the most widely known (see SAN ANTONIO CROSSING), as were Paso de Diego Ramón and Paso de las Islas. An expedition's choice of fords was governed by road and river conditions and, in earlier times, by the location of hostile Indians. First mention of Paso de Nogal is found in 1842, when Mexican general Adrián Woll, on his way to attack San Antonio, crossed his force there. From Presidio de Río Grande (Guerrero), Woll chose a northerly route to confuse Texian scouts, leading them to believe that he was going against the Comanche Indians. He then proceeded to San Antonio along a course twenty miles north of the Upper Presidio Road. Paso de Nogal, according to the best indications, was a mile and a half below Paso de los Pacuaches. Samuel A. Maverick relates that a lone pecan tree stood on the left bank, thus accounting for the name. In September 1846 the American Army of Chihuahua, commanded by Gen. John E. Wool, crossed at or near Paso de Nogal. From San Antonio Wool's force followed the Woll road for greater ease in stream crossing. It came to the Rio Grande a mile and a half below the Pacuache crossing and reached the opposite bank on a pontoon bridge, which Capt. Robert E. Lee is believed to have helped build. Although sometimes confused with Pacuache Crossing, Paso de Nogal lay between Paso de los Pacuaches and Paso de Diego Ramón.

Maurice Garland Fulton, ed., The Diary and Letters of Josiah Gregg: Southwestern Enterprises, 1840–1847 (2 vols., Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941, 1944). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). Robert S. Weddle, San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert S. Weddle, "PASO DE NOGAL," accessed June 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox