The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 166
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Rio Grande, was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in which the
United States promised to give protection to the Mexicans both north
and south of the river from all Indians residing in the United States."
A factor which influenced the actual location of the forts, if not
their establishment, was the existence along the border country of
renegades, both Mexican and American, living off the "fat of the
land" from Texas to California." The lack of adequate facilities for
transportation and communication in 'Texas necessitated the erection
of various depots and supply lines. At the conclusion of the Mexican
War, Texas was still without a single mile of railroad. Communication,
trade, and travel were accomplished by means of the stagecoach and
the ox wagon." Because the methods of travel were so slow and tedious,
and also because of the complete lack of navigable streams by which
military supplies might be transported, several military garrisons and
camps were stationed at various positions to be used as supply lines
or depots. Much thought was given to the location and establish-
ment of the forts in regard to the mail and stage line for protec-
tion against raids.
Usually a combination of several reasons was instrumental in the
establishment of each garrison. On March 20, 1848, the Texas legisla-
ture requested their congressional representatives "to use their influ-
ence for procuring the passage of an act establishing a chain of mili-
tary posts in advance of the settlements between the Red River and
the Rio Grande," and removing these forts "from time to time as
the settlements advance."" Besides protecting the people of Texas,
the federal government intended to achieve, with its forts, the open-
ing of the trans-Mississippi country to trade and settlement, the locat-
ing of a route for a transcontinental railroad, and the surveying of
the border to definitely establish the boundary between the United
States and Mexico. In 1849 United States troops established seven
military forts in 'Texas along a course known in Washington as the
"Indian Frontier Line," and two others along the Rio Grande between
3W. M. Mallory, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and Agreements
(2 vols.; Washington, 1910), I, 1107, 1112, 1122.
4Rupert N. Richardson and Carl Coke Rister, The Greater Southwest (Glendale, Calif.,
"Walter Prescott Webb and H. Bailey Carroll (eds.), The Handbook of Texas (2
vols.; Austin, 1952), II, 430. Richardson and Rister, The Greater Southwest, 23o-251.
H. P. N. Gammel (comp.), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (o vols.; Austin, 1898),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/178/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.