Rio Grande City in Starr County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Site of Cortina Battle
Dec. 27, 1859
Crushing defeat for partisan leader Juan Cortina who in late 1859 laid waste the lower Rio Grande Valley. Cortina's band of 450 were surprised here at daybreak by Maj. S. B. Heinzelman with U.S. Army troops joined by Texas Rangers recruited by John S. ("Rip") Ford. Cortina fled to Mexico by horseback. Many of his men jumped into the Rio Grande.
Regarrisoning of Ringgold Barracks put end to partisan raids for a time, but with the American Civil War (1861-1865) and Cortina's rise to power in Tamaulipas, raids were renewed until Cortina was removed, 1875.
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 4762.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Hispanic Americans • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1942.
Location. 26° 22.734′ N, 98° 49.22′ W. Marker is in Rio Grande City, Texas, in Starr County. Marker is at the intersection of East 1st Street (U.S. 83) and South Bitton Avenue, on the right when traveling east on East 1st Street. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Rio Grande City (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Old Rancho Davis (within shouting distance of this marker); Rio Grande City, C.S.A (within shouting distance of this marker); Starr County (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mifflin Kenedy Warehouse (about 700 feet away); Immaculate Conception School (about 700 feet away); Gregorio Barrera (about 700 feet away); José de Escandón (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rio Grande City.
Also see . . .
1. New Perspectives on the West - Juan Cortina. ...Best remembered for his capture of Brownsville, Texas, in 1859, Juan Cortina's life has been enshrined in Mexican-American popular culture as a symbol of militant resistance to Anglo racism. ... (Submitted on October 9, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. The "Cortina Troubles". (Submitted on October 9, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Juan Nepomuceno Cortina; First Cortina War; tejano; banditti; "Cheno Cortina"; "the Red Robber of the Rio Grande"; "Robin Hood of the Rio Grande".
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,464 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 9, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.