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Historic Sites of the U.S.-Mexican War
T E X A S
TAYLOR'S MARCH TO THE RIO GRANDE


marker commemorating Taylor's march to the Rio Grande

In January 1846, following the admittance of Texas into the Union (on December 29, 1845) and the refusal of the Mexican government to receive U.S. diplomat John Slidell, President James K. Polk ordered General Taylor to advance to the Rio Grande, considered by the United States to be the boundary between Texas and Mexico. Between March 11 and 27, 1846 Taylor's "Army of Occupation" marched south across the disputed "Nueces Strip" - a 160-mile long expanse of flat, coastal prairie. The Texas Historical Commission roadside marker pictured here, commemorating the march, was erected in 1968 on the east side of Hwy. 77, just south of Kingsville, near the town of Riveria, in Kleberg County.

The marker text reads:

Battle road of General Zachary Taylor and largest U.S. Army fielded in first half of the 19th century. After annexation of former Republic of Texas was approved in 1845, the United States sent Taylor to occupy area below the Nueces-- to support claim to all land east of the Rio Grande. In August 1845 he reached Corpus Christi where he waited while U.S. and Mexico tried to reach boundary agreement. He also sent out engineers to map a road parallel to the Gulf, where the U.S. Navy watched the crisis. His army-- including on its rosters two later U.S. presidents and later many statesmen and generals--drilled throughout a rainy winter. On orders from Washington, it moved toward Rio Grande in March 1846. Along its path were few people but much game-- wild cattle, antelope, deer, mustang horses, wild turkeys. Although challenged about 70 miles south of here by a Mexican patrol, Taylor proceeded to occupy Rio Grande Valley. April attacks and may battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma caused the United States to declare war. Afterward many troops took this road and joined the fighting, which fixed the Rio Grande as boundary and gained for U.S. lands now in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico.

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roadside marker commemorating Taylor's encampment
Photo by Bill Bozic. Used with permission.

As they advanced further to the Rio Grande, Taylor's men stopped to camp at this site near Sarita, Texas. The Texas Historical Commission roadside marker pictured here, commemorating that encampment, was erected in 1936. It is located on the grounds of a rest stop in the middle of of Hwy. 77, about 7 and 1/2 miles south of the commmunity of Sarita, in Kenedy County.

The marker text reads:

Under this tree General Zachary Taylor, commanding the Expeditionary Army of the United States sent to Texas in 1845, encamped on March 15, 1846, while en route with his troops from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande.

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