The fort that became a city: an illustrated reconstruction by Richard F. Selcer, William B. Potter

By Richard F. Selcer, William B. Potter

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To anyone else I left out, I apologize and I salute your contributions. — Richard F. Selcer Page 1 1 BOOTS AND SADDLES A small party of mounted dragoons and scouts rode in a rough line of march through thick woods, following a course roughly parallel to the Trinity River, several hundred yards to their right. A faint trail provided a narrow path through the dense undergrowth of trees, bushes and vines all around them. With their view to the river blocked by the tangled thicket, each man studied the back of the man in front of him or cast nervous glances at the undergrowth around them.

In blatant defiance of regulation, most also had their shirt-tails pulled out and their galluses looped down their legs. 1 Their arms and uniforms marked them as more than simple hunters or emigrants. ’’ These were soldiers—maybe not veterans of the longrunning Indian wars, but men not to be trifled with or unnecessarily provoked. Any watching native who observed their Page 2 passage would have quietly slipped away and gone to warn his tribesmen. After riding only a mile from the the previous night's campsite, they emerged from the dense groves of oak, sycamore, cottonwood, and hickory trees that grew in profusion along the river and onto a broad, grass-covered plateau formed by a lazy bend in the stream.

S. government would later establish Forts Worth, Graham, and Martin Scott at the same respective locations. After annexation in 1845, the state government also faced the problem of frontier security, deciding to station companies of rangers or mounted militia at five locations, one of which was the West Fork of the Trinity River in present-day Tarrant County. That site became Johnson's Station. ) Neither the Republic nor the state was capable of mounting an effective defense of the frontier with their limited financial resources and military establishment.

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