This Week in the Civil War - #1090
On Friday, May 12, 1865 in the last engagement of any significance during the Civil War Union troops from Brazos de Santiago, Texas under Colonel Theodore Barrett marched inland toward Brownsville and attacked Palmito Ranch on the banks of the Rio Grande River, some twelve miles from Brownsville. The ranch was taken, but the Federals retreated under pressure. Returning the following day, Union troops were attacked by Confederate forces commanded by Colonel John S. Ford and driven from the field. The fighting at Palmito Ranch on May 13, 1865 can be rightly claimed a Confederate victory. Union Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana was the last fatality during the Battle at Palmito Ranch, making him likely the final combatant to perish during the American Civil War.