Monday, January 7, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Fort Davis, Texas

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 5, 2012

Fort Davis, Texas was a key post in the defense of west Texas from 1854 to 1891.  It was located on the San Antonio - El Paso Road. The fort was named after Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.  The fort was not always occupied during the almost 36 years of it's existence.  During the Civil War it was abandoned, occupied by Confederate troops, once again occupied by Union Troops in 1862 and promptly abandoned again for the next 5 years. Buffalo soldiers played a large role in the history of Fort Davis.  Second Lt. Henry O. Flipper served here, he was the first black graduate of West Point.  He was dismissed from the Army in a controversial court-martial. His story continues well into the next century as it was not until 1976 that he was given an honorary discharge.  He also received a full presidential pardon in 1999. There is an interesting article on Flipper on Wikipedia.

Below, the Squad Room, Troop H, 10th Calvary bunked here ca 1884, the building housed about 26 men.  Man and J noticed the interesting layout of the vents and exhaust pipes on that stove.  Those are long horizontal runs, first time I have seen a solution like that.  Appears there is another stove on the other end of the room.

Many of the buildings are represented by partial walls and ruins of buildings.

The inside of one of the buildings, you can see stucco on the brick walls, and the basic structure of bricks and lumber.  (Yep, looks like some modern graffiti doesn't it?  SIGH)

This building had exhibits inside.  The National Park Service has been restoring and preserving buildings at Fort Davis since 1963.

Below:  the road from San Antonio to El Paso was here, yes, right there, that dirt road, according to signage.  And, yes, I made sure I went and stood right on it for a moment, just to say I had done so.  Silly Carol.

Remnants of the church, and two two-story officers quarters homes tucked up against the hill.  The home on the far left was not open, but, we could peak through fencing covering the doors and windows to see the adobe painted walls inside and the bricks used to build the outside walls.  We could even see the straw in the bricks.  Due to the condition you could see the construction of the dwelling, the wooden structure, the hand made bricks, the stucco that covered the bricks.

This beautiful chest of drawers was in the servants quarters furnished building.  It reminds me of a piece of my own furniture at home.

Commanding Officer's Quarters Row.  We noted the surrounding mountains and beautiful rock structures.  Not bad to look at early in the AM, eh??  Or maybe at sunset??

Inside one of the Commanding Officer's Quarters, we found these lovely furnished rooms.  This particular home was built starting in 1867 for Colonel Wesley Merritt, who also oversaw the construction   The furnishings are from the time of Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson, who lived here from 1882 to 1885.  He was the commander of the Black Tenth U.S. Calvary.

I took this photo through the window, and it is one of my favorite captures of the day.

Fort Davis and the Buffalo Soldiers gave us a glance into a piece of Texan and American history that I knew little of.   It was an enjoyable afternoon, slow, quiet (as we were almost the only visitors this day).  Perfect.



Hummer said...

Love the photos. How delightful the furnishing are still there. I agree the last photo is great!

Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

LOVE the photos, and love the history that you share on your trips! And I so appreciate being taken along on all of your travels!