The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958

rhe qhmiHgs of ort bedkap
BEN G. ONEAL
LD FORT BELKNAP, partly restored during the Texas Cen-
tennial Celebration in 1936, rests proudly where a cen-
tury and seven years ago it was established. "Sitting high,
overlooking the fertile valley of the Brazos, which sweeps around
the south and west, making almost a right angle, the post was a
commanding sight." With its stone wall enclosing its fifteen acres,
and its six stone buildings, two of them the originals, it is, to the
historian, a symbol of the heroic age of the western part of Texas;
to the average visitor, a place interesting and pleasant for his
family reunion, his church picnic, and the meetings of his many
other organizations.
In the case of many historic old places little information was
accurately kept by those who followed the first generation, with
the unfortunate result that misinformation and confusion have
taken the place of facts, the real substance of history. Fort Belknap
is an example of such process. The need over a century ago for
the fort is largely forgotten. The officer who was charged with
the exacting duty of examining the frontier and making the
selection of the site for the military post has not always been given
credit for the important task he performed so well. The officer
left by the general in command of the camp to dig for water, and
thus determine whether a military post could be maintained at
the site, has been forgotten.
The partly restored old fort has become so popular and of so
much interest to the thousands who visit it and ask questions
about its history that the true facts, as shown by the official
records, should be examined and stated.
After annexation the state government of Texas naturally
looked to the United States to provide protection against Indian
depredations on the frontier and borders between Red River and
the Rio Grande. The policy that was ultimately implemented
projected a chain of military posts beyond the outer line of white

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed June 3, 2015.