By Robert Wooster
The inspiration of the West conjures interesting photos of tenacious women and men, large expanses of unclaimed territory, and emotions of either event and lonesome isolation. positioned astride communique traces linking San Antonio, El Paso, Presidio, and Chihuahua urban, the U.S. Army’s submit at citadel Davis commanded a strategic place at an army, cultural, and monetary crossroads of nineteenth-century Texas. utilizing vast learn and cautious scrutiny of lengthy forgotten files, Robert Wooster brings his readers into the realm of citadel Davis, a spot of stumble upon, conquest, and community.
The castle right here spawned a thriving civilian cost and served because the fiscal nexus for local improvement Frontier Crossroads colleges its readers within the day-by-day lives of infantrymen, their dependents, and civilians on the fortress and within the surrounding region. The ensuing background of the fascinating mixture of Hispanic, African American, Anglo, and ecu immigrants who got here to citadel Davis is a benchmark quantity that may function the traditional to which different publish histories might be compared.
the army garrisons of citadel Davis represented a wealthy mosaic of nineteenth-century American lifestyles. all of the army’s 4 black regiments served there following the Civil conflict, and its garrisons engaged in lots of of the army’s grueling campaigns opposed to Apache and Comanche Indians. Characters resembling artist and officer Arthur T. Lee, William “Pecos invoice” Shafter, and Benjamin Grierson and his kinfolk come alive lower than Wooster’s pen. Frontier Crossroads will increase its readers with its cautious research of existence at the frontier. This ebook will attract army and social historians, Texas historical past buffs, and people looking a list of adventure.
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Additional info for Frontier Crossroads: Fort Davis and the West
To make matters worse, the army rarely met its authorized force levels, with desertions, discharges, and deaths typically exceeding recruiting supplements. Detached duties further depleted the effective force. Ofﬁcers were liable for service on courts-martial, boards of survey, and recruiting details; enlisted men were often used to construct and repair post facilities. Frontier garrisons, then, remained pitifully small. June 1853 ﬁgures were typical. Although the army’s authorized strength was 13,821, only 10,417 soldiers were actually serving.
AGENT OF EMPIRE 17 reservation west of the Pecos River would follow. The Brazos reservation, occupied by semiagricultural tribes such as the Caddo, Waco, Tawakoni, Tonkawa, and Delaware, initially met its designers’ objectives. But Texans never accepted the Comanche reservation, and in 1859, following a series of ugly incidents, the residents of both reservations were hustled across the Red River into the Indian territory. 5 The job of removing the tribes to reservations fell to the regular army.
Yet the camels found it difﬁcult to negotiate muddy or slippery ground, and soldiers detested the beasts’ acute halitosis, bad odor, and voluminous sneezing. The army also failed to establish a breeding program, and the dromedaries lost their most powerful champion in 1857 when Davis left the War Department. 19 The army’s size and composition further inhibited its effectiveness as the nation’s agent of empire. Although a million square miles had been added to the national domain during the 1840s, following the war with Mexico the army totaled just over ten thousand ofﬁcers and men—about the same size as it had been in 1815.