The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 101
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Notes and Documents
me there was nothing to be seen there except the buildings, and I
obtained from him all the information concerning it that will prob-
ably be deemed essential.
The depot, a rough sketch of which and of the adjacent country
(Figure B) accompanies this report, is on the island of Brazos San-
tiago, nine miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande and thirty miles,
in an easternly direction, from Fort Brown. It is approached by the
channel around the north end of the island, which at full tides has
a depth of eight feet. Vessels drawing 71/ feet can cross the bar at
certain stages of water, but none of more than 61/ feet draft should
be freighted by the government. The mail is received semi-monthly
by steamer from New Orleans. Fort Brown and Ringgold Barracks
are the only posts that receive supplies through the Brazos. The stores
are transported by contract-a steamer running from the depot to
Fort Brown, in connection with one from that post to Ringgold Bar-
racks. This contract was entered into by Bvt. Maj. Chapman, Asst.
Quartermaster, with M. Kennedy & Co., for two years from February
1o, 1852. The rates paid (which will be given hereafter) seem to me
high, but they were doubtless the most advantageous that could be
obtained at the time.
Three citizens are employed, a clerk at $75 per month, a boatman
at $3o, and a labourer to take care of horses, assist with boats, &c., at
$15. The Government does not own the land on which the depot
stands. A guard of one corporal and two privates is detached from
Fort Brown for the protection of the depot buildings.
VII.-FoRT BROWN- (Inspected July 2, to July 4, 1853.)
This post adjoins the town of Brownsville and is immediately
below it on the Rio Grande, being about 90 miles above the mouth
of that river. Opposite and one mile distant is Matamoras, the most
considerable Mexican town on the Rio Grande frontier. Brownsville
until recently enjoyed a brisk trade and was fast increasing in popu-
lation, but the late unlawful expeditions against Mexico, of which
it was the centre, are said to have inflicted a severe blow on its pros-
perity. It now numbers some 2,000 inhabitants. There is a regular
mail communication semi-monthly, by steamer from the Brazos, with
New Orleans, and by land conveyance, weekly, with Corpus Christi,
Ringgold Barracks, Fort McIntosh and Fort Duncan. The present
post does not occupy the site of old Fort Brown, but is above it. It
has no defences and the command are quartered, in framed houses-
please see rough plan marked C. Being the principal point on the
river, a garrison must always be maintained here as long as the
faithful service in the Quartermaster's Department and major general of the
Volunteers for faithful and meritorious service during the war. He died on March
28, 1901o. Heitman, Historical Register of the United States Army, I, 984.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/108/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.