The Civil War on the Rio Grande frontier began in Zapata County only days after the first shots of the bloody conflict were fired at Fort Sumter, and the conflict ended at Palmito Hill more than a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. Far from Washington and Richmond and the killing fields of the east, this dark corner of the Confederacy has a rich history of Civil War photography. One of the superbly talented photographic artists operating in Matamoros and Brownsville during this epic era was a Prussian named Louis de Planque. With his lens, de Planque skillfully captured the leading personalities of the era, including Servando Canales, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, Mariano Escobedo, Tomás Mejía, Richard King, Mifflin Kenedy, and John S. "Rip" Ford.
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