Clarksville was near the mouth of the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican city of Bagdad. During the Mexican War a temporary army camp stood there, with William H. Clark, a civilian, in charge. Clark set up a country store and served as agent for the steamship lines using the port. The town quickly developed; houses were built up on stilts to be above high water. During the early part of the Civil War Clarksville thrived on the trade of the Confederate blockade-runners, but in 1863 it was captured by federals, who held it most of the time until the end of the war. The last battle of the war was fought four miles away at Palmito Ranch. In 1867 Clarksville was almost destroyed by a hurricane but survived during the days of the river steamer. In 1872 it received another blow when the railway was built from Brownsville to Point Isabel, and severe storms in 1874 and 1886 finished it. In 1953 the river had changed its course and flowed over the site of Clarksville.
At a Glance
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Clarksville is classified as a Town
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