Bagdad, Tamaulipas

Bagdad, Tamaulipas

Bagdad, Tamaulipas

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Bagdad, Tamaulipas, Mexico was a town established in 1848 on the south bank of the mouth of the Río Grande. Officially declared non-existent in 1880, it is now invisible, covered by the shifting sands of time.

A major player in the American Civil War, today few realize it even existed, nor its vital importance to the Confederacy in its struggle against the North. One of the first appearances of Bagdad was on a map entitled "Map of the Country Adjacent to the Left Bank of the Rio Grande Below Matamoros, 1847."

Civil War

The Civil War began in 1861 when the Southern states seceded from the Union. With Abraham Lincoln's proclamation that he would hold Jefferson Davis' privateers "amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy," the War commenced. Mexico was the only foreign country to share a border with the Confederacy. Being neutral, Mexico could not be cut off by Lincoln's Federal blockade. The US Supreme Court, in the Prize cases, had declared Lincoln's blockades legal. However, this legality did not extend to the Rio Grande, as this river was considered international water by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed in 1848 between the United States and Mexico.

Article VII of the Treaty read, "The river Gila, and the part of the Rio Bravo del Norte laying below the southern boundary of New Mexico, being, agreeably to the fifth article, divided in the middle between the two republics, the navigation of the...
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