notes aurd 'ocumewlts
Xiact eat A. W. rely's Report oa the
Jstallatio# of 4'ilitary telegraph Lixes iN
rekas, 1875-1876 *
Edited by L. TUFFLY ELLIS
THE GREAT PLAINS WAS THE LAST GREAT HUNTING GROUND
of the American Indian. After the Civil War white settlers
in ever-increasing numbers challenged the red men for
control of the short-grasslands from Texas to the Dakotas. The
Indians, mounted and armed with their enemies' fire-power, re-
sisted the settlers--at times successfully, at times unsuccessfully-
yet resisted persistently.'
In Texas the Indian danger to the frontiersman was accentu-
ated by geography. The frontier line ran from the Red River to
the Rio Grande, a distance of about 500 miles, and along the Rio
Grande, separating Texas from Mexico, for some 80o miles, or a
total distance of approximately 1300 miles. As a result of the
extended line, the settled portion of the state was subject to
attack on three sides; from the west, by Indians living within
Texas; from north of the Red River by raiding tribes from reser-
vations in the Indian Territory; and from the south, by marauding
bands from Mexico which crossed the Rio Grande.
From the time that Texas became a state up to the Civil War
the United States government established and maintained mili-
tary posts for the protection of the Texas frontier.2 After the war
neither the military forces nor the state government were able
adequately to cope with the raiding parties in the Southwest.
*The report was brought to the writer's attention by Paul J. Scheips of Washing-
ton, D. C.
'Walter P. Webb, The Great Plains (New York, 1986), 6o-68.
'Arrie Barrett, Federal Outposts in Texas, 1846-1861 (Master's thesis, University
of Texas, 1927).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed March 5, 2015.