The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 31
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Fort McKavett, Texas
reported in Circular 4, Surgeon General's Office, December 5, 1870,
as follows: "The valley of the San Saba is a garden, waiting to
be planted and wealth awaits those who come here and go to work.
The extreme healthfulness of this climate is another great induce-
ment. The steady work of a few years in this magnificent country
will enrich any man and add to the wealth of the State and Nation.
Once establish a system of railroads and no more children are
stolen or families made desolate by inroads of the Indians. The
cattle can truly be said to roam over a thousand hills and Texas
will be the empire of the occident."
Dr. Sharpe had been in Texas five years at the time he wrote the
above. On his arrival in the State he was continually told the
seasons were exceedingly dry and that there would be no rain for
months at a time, but he believed that the climate did not prove a
detriment and that all that was needed to develop the vast mineral
and agricultural resources of the whole state was muscle and vigor.
He wrote that there was no healthier post on the Texas frontier
and the dry atmosphere, the elevation of over 2,000 feet above sea
level, the pure bracing winds and pure water "all tend to make it a
paradise for any one suffering from any weakness of the air
There were four barracks. One 324 x 20 feet; one 101 x 23
feet; one 157 x 20 feet, and one 80 x 20 feet, and they were
all built of stone. There was one frame building 140 x 20 feet,
and a picket building 156 x 20 feet. All these buildings were of
one story and with the walls ten feet high to the eaves. A space
of from five to eight inches was left open at the eaves the whole
length of the building to provide for ventilation. The dormitories
had single iron bedsteads with about 485 cubic feet of air space
per man. Each bed had a wooden chest above the head of the
bunk with a shelf over it. There were no lavatories or bathrooms
in 1875 and the men washed out of doors and during nine months
of the year bathed in the lake nearby. The kitchens and mess
rooms were separate buildings about 22 x 15 feet. The married
soldiers had picket huts and walled tents, which were inconvenient,
shabby and in bad condition. The commanding officer's quarters
was the only two-story stone building 51 x 35 feet with an L,
38 x 16 feet. This was the most pretentious residence at that
time and had two large rooms on each floor with a dining room,
pantry, kitchen and a servant's room on the first floor, with a
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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/m1/39/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.