The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 205
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Notes and Documents
gions, somewhat as it does today, to pay and supply troops. Mer-
chants, sutlers, agents were attracted. Towns grew up around these
guaranteed government payrolls. Soldiers completed their enlistment
terms, liked the new country, saw the opportunities, and sometimes
remained. How fast the West and Texas would have built without this
continuous influx of federal money cannot be determined, but simple
logic recognizes how much more swiftly the process went because
Washington was forever pumping in the dollars of all the taxpayers
to build up the new area.
Besides, where the army goes, other improvements follow-mili-
tary roads, wagon roads, geographic surveys, boundary surveys, even
agricultural experiments of which agricultural colleges could have
been proud had they been in existence. Americans learned faster what
their country could offer, what it could realize, how its problems
might be approached.
Forts even provided a touch of politeness, despite what some cavalry
sergeants must have called their fractious mounts on a bitter cold
morning. Thus, the officers' wives, frequently girls of breeding, as
they said in those days, certainly girls of some social grace, moved into
the forts to bring a sense of style to the dreary life of the frontier
women and to teach uncouth soldiers, cowboys, miners, and the like
the niceties of manners and proper behavior. They pushed for schools,
they pushed for churches, they enriched wherever they touched.
Texas, then, as part of the total American experience, felt the force
of forts in its life. No story of the Texas heritage can be complete
without telling the role its forts played in making that heritage pos-
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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/m1/217/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.