Zachary Taylor’s Unknown Fort in the Valley

Local News

It’s a world-class archeological site hidden deep within the Cameron and Hidalgo County line, General Zachary Taylor’s Third Federal Camp at the start of the 1846 Mexican American War. 

Before becoming our 12th President of the United States, Old Rough and Ready was under fire from President Polk to make a military push to capture two northern Mexican cities in order to get into Mexico City.

“Where we are right now is one of the most important historical sites in all of the lower Rio Grande Valley, it is a huge untold story,” said Eugene Fernandez, Commissioner of the Cameron County Historical Commission. 

At that time in 1846, there were no established cities along Lower Rio Grande River, so the Santa Maria camp was among the first U.S. Army occupation bases that spread over this range.

After the 1980’s it began to fall apart and was even reported to have been scavenged for usable brick at various times. But it’s still standing strong

Relics have been found from both the Civil War era and the U.S. Border Service periods around the old fort.

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