21 Feb 2013--Went to see the Ft Davis Historic Site yesterday, established back in 1854 primarily to protect gold rush travelers from Indian attack. As you can see from the map, the San Antonio-El Paso Road is a 600 mile long trek, with the town of Fort Davis at about the 450 mile point.
There were so many attacks that a fort was built approximately every 100 miles along the route.
Different bands of American Indians attacked, with the Apache and Comanche among the biggest. The map shows that the Apache came out of New Mexico while the Kiowa and Comanche came out of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle region.
Victorio was a famous Apache, ultimately killed by Col Grierson's men.
2nd Lt Flipper was the 1st African American to graduate from West Point and was posted here during the Indian Wars. He was praised for his service initially, but ultimately was court martialled on what were later called trumped up charges of embezzlement and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. He was dishonorably discharged, but redeemed himself later in life and was ultimately cleared of the charges by the Army and President Clinton.
Here is some of the housing. 1st pic shows some of the married officer housing on the left, the 2 story house was bachelor officer quarters, and the 3rd pic shows the enlisted quarters.
This was the commanding officer's house...had 5 rooms...and was occupied at one time by that Col Grierson I mentioned earlier. The armoir in the 2nd pic was actually his. Surprisingly, in those days, when officers moved from one base to the next they generally left their furniture behind and bought new stuff at their new post.
Here are the open bays for the poor enlisted guys. haha Notice in the 3rd pic the wooden slats they are sleeping on, with no mattress to speak of either.
The married officer's lived in the row of houses shown above, with 3-5 rooms, based on their rank. So even if they were married, they might share a house with another officer and his family. The commanding officer, a colonel, got the house to himself and had 5 rooms. Descending in order, a major got 4 rooms, a captain got 3, a 1st lieutenant got 2 while a 2nd lieutenant got only 1. So in a 3 room house you could have 3 2nd lieutenants, or in a 4 room house you could have a captain and one 2nd lieutenant. It made no difference at that time how many family members you had...the number of rooms was based on your rank, and if you had 7 kids they all crammed into that space!!!
Each of the married officers houses had a separate house behind it that contained the kitchen and servants quarters. So there were 13 separate kitchens behind these particular houses...what a waste, huh?
This shows how to do Morse Code...Ellen and Hallie, I figure you guys may be up to the challenge...practice and we will have a "code-off" when I see you next time! haha
Of course we have the US Mail...I wonder if they delivered on Saturdays?
And here was the pay...and check out how the average guy then only weighed about 160 lbs!
The funniest part...Here is Kareem Abdul Jabbar narrating the film we saw! What ever possessed him to do this?
It was windy as all get out yesterday...here is Cathy right before it literally knocked her off her feet! haha I am not kidding!
And finally, with the demise of Victorio, the Fort was no longer needed, and ultimatley abandoned by the US Army!!!