The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 29
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Fort McKavett, Texas
were friendly to the Americans and unfriendly to the other
Indians, and were subsequently used successfully as scouts by
To give an idea of the attitude of our army officers toward the
Indians at that time I quote a letter of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert
E. Lee, Second United States Cavalry, dated Camp Cooper, April
12, 1856 :
"We are in the Comanche Reserve with the Indian camps below
us on the river, belonging to Catumseh's band, whom the Govern-
ment is trying to humanize. It will be up hill work I fear.
Catumseh has been to see me and we have had a talk, very tedious
on his part and very sententious on mine. I hailed him as a friend,
as long as his conduct and that of his tribe deserved it, but would
meet him as an enemy the first moment he failed to keep his
The commanding officer at that time was Bvt. Lieutenant-
Colonel E. B. Alexander, Eighth Infantry, with Companies B,
D, E, F and II of that regiment.* The battalions were variously
armed and clothed as the uniform was being changed and the old
uniform had to be worn out before the new pattern was issued.
Three companies had the ordinary percussion muskets while B
Company had a musket with Meynard's primer, and Company F
had both rifles and muskets. The latter company was partly
mounted and had 37 horses.
Fort McKavett was abandoned March 22, 1859, and reoccupied
by Companies A and F, Fourth Cavalry, and D, E and I, Thirty-
fifth Infantry, April 1, 1868. When reoccupied the post was in a
mass of ruins. Only one house being at all habitable and the
whole command was compelled to go under canvas. The buildings
of the post covered six acres of a broad hill which gradually sloped
to the river. The San Saba River appeared to rise from three
heads. Then called the North, Main and South prongs, but even
in 1870 most of the water came from the South prong, two miles
west of the Post. This prong widened out into a lake about three-
fourths of a mile long and from 50 to 100 feet wide. Opposite the
post the stream was only 20 feet wide and from one to three feet
deep. It ran through a fertile valley a mile wide and then through
*Some of the old buildings have cornerstones with the company of the
Eighth Infantry that built the barracks cut on them.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/37/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.