With its vast size and long frontier period, Texas was the scene of more combat events between Native American warriors and Anglo soldiers and settlers than any other state or territory. The US Army, therefore, erected more military outposts in Texas, a tradition begun by Spanish soldados and their presidios. Settlers built blockhouses and even stockades, the most famous of which was Parker's Fort, the site of an infamous massacre in 1836. Successive north to south lines of Army forts attempted to screen westward-moving settlers from war parties, while border posts stretched along the Rio Grande from Fort Brown on the Gulf of Mexico to Fort Bliss at El Paso del Norte. Texas was the site of the first US Cavalry regiment employed against horseback warriors, as well as the experimental US Camel Corps. From Robert E. Lee to Albert Sidney Johnston to Ranald Mackenzie, the Army's finest officers served out of Texas forts, and 61 Medals of Honor were earned by soldiers campaigning in the Lone Star State.
About the Author
Bill O'Neal has served the past five years as the state historian of Texas. He taught history for four decades at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, and is the author of more than 40 books, including six Arcadia titles. In 2012, the Wild West Historical Association presented O'Neal its lifetime achievement award, and in 2007, he was selected as True West magazine's Best Living Nonfiction Writer.
Table of Contents
1 Presidios and Private Forts 9
2 US Army on the Texas Frontier 17
3 The Border Forts 47
4 New Forts in West Texas 57
5 Post-Civil War Rebuilding 83