The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 212
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
you with the information in regard to the location, objects and uses
of the posts on the frontier of Texas.
The South western frontier is bordered by the Rio Grande, the
co-limit with the Republic of Mexico. The posts on that line, begin-
ning towards the mouth of the river, are Fort Brown, at Brownsville
opposite Matamoras, the principal town & commercial place on the
Mexican side-next above is the post of Ringgold Barracks, estab-
lished as near as possible opposite Camargo, a place of some impor-
tance in Mexico-then Laredo at an old established village on our
side where the highway from the interior directed to San Antonio
and Nacogdoches formerly crossed; this is Fort McIntosh-Above is
Fort Duncan at a crossing of the river known as Eagle Pass. All these
posts were occupied on the first establishment of the Department
after the Mexican War and were intended to control the usual lines
of communication with the country south of the river.
The country near them is unproductive-rains are not frequent,
and are irregular so that grass is scarce and the only supply for
troops is fresh beef. Corn is generally procured from the opposite
side after you get above steamboat navigation, the end of which is
at Rio Grande City near Ringgold Barracks. The title to the land
on which these posts are placed is in dispute & the United States
are mere tenants at will without being certain who are their
In rear of this line and merely parallel to it on the Nueces River
and one of its tributaries are three posts; Fort Merrill the lowest on
the right bank of the river was one of the early established posts &
intended to protect the settlements near & below Goliad on the
San Antonio river & about San Patricio on the Nueces. It is not
well placed & since other measures have been adopted with success
to keep the Indians out of the region between the Nueces & Rio
Grande it is no longer necessary for the purposes first intended & is
only used for the protection of the sick & stores until buildings can
be erected at the Post above. Fort Ewell is now at the crossing of the
highway from San Antonio to Laredo over the Nueces. This point
was selected as the centre of the curve formed by the Rio Grande &
nearly equidistant from the several posts on that river which might
require succor. The site was fixed on a year since but soon after the
troops occupying it were called to the field & so great is the difficulty
in getting proper building materials that no houses except one for
stores is yet covered [?] in. The high water this year cut it off from
the Rio Grande by filling the bottom of the Saledo a small tributary
of the Nueces running parallel with it, nearly. I have just instructed
the Commanding Officer of the Rifle Regiment to examine & select
a spot about 25 miles above where there are materials in more
abundance for building & no obstruction to a movement to the Rio
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/282/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.