Near this site, used by Indians and the Spanish before 19th century Anglo-American settlement of Texas. Path of Armies, Missionaries and commerce. About 330 miles long, the route varied with seasons, depending on chances to water teams pulling wagons or carts. Driest stretch was from the Nueces to the Rio Grande. The trip from San Antonio to Matamoros took 6 to 8 weeks, even when delays did not occur. Bandists were an added danger. Slow-moving wagon trains attracted Robbers on fast horses. Teamsters learned to hide money in bags of Grain or Poatoes. They would even bore holes in Cart Axles, put gold in, plug each hole, cover the spot with black grease. During the Civil War, this was main artery of the cotton road, lifeline of the Confederacy. Wisps of cotton road, lifeline of the confedracy. Wisps of cotton thorned into Mesquite trees marked its way. A 6-mule wagon would haul up to 12 bales of Cotton. A solid-wheel Mexican Cart drawn by 10 oxen hauled up to 16 balees. When teams grew exhausted, bales of cotton would be thrown off and hidden, so that the teamster might pick them up later. In extremely hot, dry weather, the way would be lined with discards. Returning wagons brought guns, ammunition, cloth and other goods so much needed by the confederacy.
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