The Webb County Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and American Legion Post 59, will host “War and Peace on the Rio Grande, 1861-1867,”an exhibit and presentation on the Civil War history of the South Texas region that includes Laredo on Friday, January 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.
In addition to the exhibit, beginning at 6:30 p.m., a book-signing and presentation will take place at the American Legion Post 59, directly across the street from the museum at 809 Zaragoza St. Russell K. Skowronek, Christopher L. Miller, and Roseann Bacha-Garza, co-authors of Blue and Gray on the Border – The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail will talk about their participation in this project. The speakers will present their own Civil War-related specialties, some being colored troops, the economy of the region and battlefield archeology.
The museum exhibit which features historical characters, events, life-size mannequins, and artifacts from that period will be on display at the Villa Antigua® Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St.
Showcasing the 200 miles between Brownsville and Laredo, the exhibit allows
visitors to experience where historic events took place. Learning about battles is just one part to the “War & Peace on the Rio Grande” museum exposition. The posters and banners of the exhibit were produced and designed by UTRGV CHAPS students and staff, which is scheduled to travel to Port Isabel, Brownsville, Laredo and Corpus Christi.
Roseann Bacha-Garza, program manager for the UTRGV Community Historical
Archeology with Schools Program, CHAPS, said the event is designed to foster
space where people can engage with local history. “I think that it is important for students and the Rio Grande region’s residents to know just exactly how interesting, intriguing and historically significant their home base is,” said Bacha-Garza, who was a part of the initial planning of the project four years ago. “We are not just a region that is floating like an island out of the frontier in the middle of nowhere,” Bacha-Garza said. “We are a significant location on the map of the United States and we have a tremendous amount of history here
that really needs to come to the forefront. We want our students, and the community at large, to be proud of where we are from.”
“Just a Ferry Ride to Freedom,” a 10-minute documentary that covers the underground railroads that passed through Rio Grande Valley ranches prior and during the Civil War entitled will be available for viewing throughout the coming months of the exhibit’s stay at the Border Heritage Museum. The film was produced by Nick Taylor, a communications professor at the
University and Damaso Creative Video Services.
For more information, contact the Webb County Heritage Foundation at 956-727-0977.