The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now


Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Cavallo Pass

General Entry

Cavallo Pass (Pass Cavallo) connects Matagorda Bay with the Gulf of Mexico between Matagorda Island and the Matagorda Peninsula in southeastern Calhoun County (at 28°23' N, 96°24' W). In the nineteenth century it was a major point of entry to the Texas interior. Cotton, cattle, molasses, lumber, potatoes, and corn were shipped through the pass. A reported 10,000 to 12,000 bales of cotton was shipped from Lavaca and Indianola in 1852. A lighthouse was constructed on Matagorda Island in 1852 to mark the entrance to the pass. Federal forces captured Cavallo Pass and Matagorda Island, along with other Texas coastal areas, in 1863. Most of the troops in the vicinity were withdrawn in March 1864 to participate in Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign.

Brownson Malsch, Indianola-the Mother Of Western Texas (Austin: Shoal Creek, 1977).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Cavallo Pass,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/cavallo-pass.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Loading