kids encyclopedia robot

Battle of Palmito Ranch facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Battle of Palmito Ranch
Part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the
American Civil War
Battle of Palmito Ranch map.jpg
Sketch map of battle
Date May 12–13, 1865
Result Confederate victory
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Theodore H. Barrett John "Rip" Ford
Units involved
2nd Texas United States Cavalry (dismounted)
62nd Regiment U.S. Colored Troops
34th Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry
2nd Texas Confederate Cavalry Regiment
Gidding's Regiment
Anderson's Battalion
Benavides' Regiment
500 300
Casualties and losses
4-30 killed
12 wounded
101 captured
5–6 wounded
3 captured

The Battle of Palmito Ranch, also known as the Battle of Palmito Hill, is considered by some criteria as the final battle of the American Civil War. It was fought May 12 and 13, 1865, on the banks of the Rio Grande east of Brownsville, Texas, and a few miles from the seaport of Los Brazos de Santiago, at the southern tip of Texas. The battle took place more than a month after the general surrender of Confederate forces to Union forces at Appomattox Court House, which had since been communicated to both commanders at Palmito, and in the intervening weeks the Confederacy had collapsed entirely, so it could also be classified as a postwar action.

Union and Confederate forces in southern Texas had been observing an unofficial truce since the beginning of 1865, but Union Colonel Theodore H. Barrett, newly assigned to command an all-black unit and never having been involved in combat, ordered an attack on a Confederate camp near Fort Brown for unknown reasons. The Union attackers captured a few prisoners, but the following day the attack was repulsed near Palmito Ranch by Colonel John Salmon Ford, and the battle resulted in a Confederate victory. Union forces were surprised by artillery said to have been supplied by the French Army garrison occupying the up-river Mexican town of Matamoros.

Casualty estimates are not dependable, but Union Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana Infantry Regiment is believed to have been the last man killed during the engagement. He could then arguably be reckoned as the last man killed in the war.

Images for kids

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Activists:
William L. Dawson
Claudette Colvin
W. E. B. Du Bois
Anna J. Cooper
kids search engine
Battle of Palmito Ranch Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.