The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 214
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Gen Belknap when I arrived there-There are good springs of water,
abundance of coal-good pasture, & a well wooded country to recom-
mend it. Some persons have settled near it since the establishment
of the post, but they have not yet made crops-Between this and
Preston on Red River you pass through the "Cross Timbers" & on
coming on the heads of the Trinity river you find settlements which
continue through a well wooded and fertile country to Red River-
A post was to have been established above this line at the mouth of
the "Little Witshita river-but the want of troops & the long line of
transportation for supplies has hitherto prevented it. Preston was at
first established as the Depot for the posts at Fort Belknap and
Phantom Hill; but the difficulties of the navigation of Red River
prevented the supplies arriving in time & the route of communica-
tion was changed.
Nearly parallel with this outer line of posts is the original frontier
line of posts-First, beginning with the most northern one, is Fort
Worth on the Trinity. The next Fort Graham on the waters of the
Brazos-Then Fort Croghan near the Colorado on a tributary creek-
these three being nearly in a line and in the settled country now,
although established at first beyond it.
In advance of the last on a branch of the Llano, itself a tributary
of the Colorado is Fort Mason, just on the edge of the German set-
tlement made some years ago and abandoned in consequence of
Indian hostilities & now resettled under the protection of the troops.
The country around Fort Mason is healthy, the water good-fuel,
timber, & grass plenty & its position very desirable & useful in all
respects. If affairs are tranquil on the Rio Grande it would be the
proper place to erect quarters for the Dept. Head Quarters.
As none of the new posts are finished & afford but little covering
for stores-Fort Martin Scott-as Fort Merrill-has been retained for
the use of the buildings-when the others are finished it will be
The distances between the posts & the depots from which they
are supplied you will learn more accurately as you visit them-the
roads are changed since I first went along the frontier-There is a
continuous wagon road from Preston & indeed from the mouth of
the Little Witchita along the whole line of the outer posts to & down
the Rio Grande except between Fort Terrett & Fort Clark where the
rough country about the head of the Nueces renders a wagon road
impossible without some expensive labour. A good, constantly trav-
elled, wagon road extends from Fort Worth to Fort Merrill & there
are good wagon roads by which supplies are constantly carried from
all the outer posts to the nearest inner ones & to Austin San Antonio
& Corpus Christi-but it must be understood there are no bridges
over the streams & when these are swollen by rains they are impassable
& cause delays.
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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/m1/286/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.