Millican was Texas' northernmost railroad terminus when the war between the states began in 1861. It became a vital Confederate shipping point for the area extending to the Red River on the north and to be frontier settlements in the west. The products of that region moved over the rails of the Houston and Texas Central Railroads from Millican to Houston, Beaumont, Galveston and Alleyton.
Confederate troops came by rail to nearby Camp Speight, a training and rendezvous point. Many marched overland from here for duty in Arkansas and Louisiana. Other entrained here for Houston and Beaumont where they boarded ships for Neblett's Landing on the Sabine and other debarkation points.
During the war cotton from North Texas and the Brazos Valley went to market through Millican to Alleyton, the state's southernmost railroad terminus, where it was transported over the cotton road by wagons and carts to Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico. Returning wagons and carts brought military supplies and merchandise which eventually reached Millican by rail for wide distribution.
Millican, which had been born with the coming of the railroad in 1859, flourished with the railroad, and declined with the northward extension of the railroad that began in 1866.