Fort Davis and the West
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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... in 1854 near Limpia Creek and Wild Rose Pass in the heart of the Trans-Pecos, Fort Davis is one of Texas’ most historic and enchanting places. Julius Froebel, a German traveler during the 1850s, proclaimed that “nature appears here, more than anywhere else I have seen, like a landscape-painter, composing a picture with the most simple yet ...
Chapter One: CROSSROADS OF EMPIRE
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... October 20, 1682, seven American Indians appeared at El Paso del Norte (present-day Ju�rez, Mexico), where Franciscan friars, representing the Spanish empire as well as the Catholic Church, had established a mission two decades earlier. The tiny station had recently taken on increased importance, as a massive Pueblo Indian revolt two years earlier had forced many of the residents of Spanish New Mexico to find ...
Chapter Two: AGENT OF EMPIRE: The U.S. Army
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... determined that a garrison in the Trans-Pecos was necessary for frontier defense, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Persifor F. Smith and his escort reached Painted Comanche Camp in early October 1854. He was impressed by the site’s strategic locale, about 475 miles west of San Antonio and near trails to Presidio del Norte and El Paso. Grazing, water, fuel, ...
Chapter Three: FRONTIER OUTPOST
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... American beliefs, societal mores, and cultural practices frequently intersected at antebellum Fort Davis. The post’s physical structures revealed the country’s reluctance to adequately fund the most visible agent of its growing empire. At the same time, its existence reflected the nation’s confidence in the righteousness of its western expansion and would serve as the genesis for a new frontier community. ...
Chapter Four: IMPLEMENTATION OF EMPIRE
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... task of conquering the Trans-Pecos rested with the U.S. Army, and Fort Davis had become a focus of operations against Indians even before it officially opened. In late September 1854, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Persifor F. Smith had left El Paso en route to selecting the site for the new post on Limpia Creek. Smith’s command included a hundred members ...
Chapter Five: CRISIS OF EMPIRE
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... recent problems at Fort Davis were soon overshadowed by the growing storm clouds of secession. From the moment of their incorporation into the Union, Texans had criticized the federal government’s failure to prevent Indian attacks. Not surprisingly, the state’s secession convention would list this as one of their justifications for leaving ...
Chapter Six: RETURN TO THE FRONTIER
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... return of the regular army brought order—federal-government style—to the Trans-Pecos. Although traditional histories sometimes reviled Reconstruction’s impact on Texas, non-Indians of the Fort Davis region found that economic opportunities and greater security accompanied the renewed military presence. But changes in the old routine were ...
Chapter Seven: FRONTIER DUTIES
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... reoccupying Fort Davis following the Civil War, the federal government had signaled its determination to complete its conquest of the Trans-Pecos. Americans once again expected their army to play a leading role in this process of nation-building. A garrison afforded better security as well as a considerable influx of federal money, both sure to attract civilian ...
Chapter Eight: FRONTIER EMPIRE
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... American frontiers hosted more than their fair share of capitalist enterprises, bonanzas, and money-making schemes. Fort Davis also had its own Gilded Age booster—Col. Benjamin Grierson, who commanded the post from 1882 to 1885. With conflicts against the Indians diminishing and the garrison regularly averaging more than six hundred officers ...
Chapter Nine: THE CLOSE OF THE MILITARY FRONTIER
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... military post on the Limpia had long been the developmental engine for non-Indian settlement of the central Trans-Pecos. The army, attracted by the position’s strategic importance, physical beauty, and locally available supplies of water, timber, and building stone, had invested considerable resources in developing and maintaining the site. With its large garrison, influx of federal money, and promise of security, Fort Davis ...
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... military frontier at Fort Davis had come to an end. For thirty-two of the past thirty-seven years, the post’s garrison had protected non-Indians across much of the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. The army had driven the Indians who had once occupied the area south into Mexico, where scattered remnants were gradually assimilated into the general ...
Appendix 1. THE GARRISON STRENGTH AT FORT DAVIS
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Appendix 2. ETHNIC COMPOSITION OF CIVILIANS AT FORT DAVIS
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Page Count: 222
Illustrations: 18 b&w photos. 2 maps. 3 tables.
Publication Year: 2006
Series Title: Canseco-Keck History Series