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PASO DE NOGAL
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.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: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).
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.