Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Cortina Wars]. Juan Cortina Half-Plate Salt Print Portrait, circa 1860. Pictured in this studio portrait is Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, famed Mexican bandit, folk hero, and center of the Cortina Wars which plagued South Texas sporadically from 1859 to 1875.

    The First Cortina War began in July 1859 when Cortina shot the marshal of Brownsville, Texas, for the public mistreatment of a Mexican ranch hand. By September, tensions had so increased between Cortina and his followers and Brownsville lawmen that Cortina occupied the town, running off the authorities that had stood against them. In December 1859, a group of Texas Rangers under the command of Captain Rip Ford cooperated with U.S. Army regulars under the command of Major Samuel Heintzelman to eliminate the threat from Cortina. Together they successfully tracked and defeated Cortina soundly on several occasions, first at Rio Grande City. Cortina, having lost many men and almost all supplies, retreated across the Rio Grande into Mexico.

    The so-called Second Cortina War commenced the following year (1861) immediately after the outbreak of the Civil War. After being defeated a second time, rumors and fear of raids lingered for years in the minds of Southern Texas landowners and ranchers. This photograph exhibits some toning on image from previous framing, with pencil writing on recto and verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 935

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 November 20 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search