The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 78
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
from Jacksboro to Fort Griffin is 71 miles long. It is constructed of
Johnson (English) No. 9 galvanized wire, Kenosha insulators and
cedar poles. The cost was not far from $5,300 or $75 per mile.
On June 11th 2nd Lieut. Wm Paulding62 loth Infantry, under
the supervision of J. C. Van Duzer,68 Civilian Superintendent of
Construction commenced the line from Fort Clark64 to San Antonio,"1
completing it on September 22nd. The line runs through Uvalde,6"
Sabinal,67 D'Hanis,68 and Castroville,69 and is 124.32 miles long. On
June 24th Sergt. I. R. Birt70 established an office at Fort Clark in
order to keep Lieut. Paulding in communication with his post.
On Sept. 6th an office was opened by Private J. T. Fitzgerald71
at Uvalde, 41 miles from Clark and on Sept. 22nd, the date of
completion, at San Antonio, where our office is united with the
6"William Paulding, born in New York, was commissioned a second lieutenant
with the loth Infantry on October 1, 1873. He served with various infantry regi-
ments throughout his career of army service. Heitman, Historical Register, 1, 776.
"SJohn C. Van Duzer accompanied Capron to Texas in 1874 as civilian superin-
tendent of construction. Van Duzer had been associated with various aspects of
telegraph work since 1848, and during the war years constructed and repaired
many hundreds of miles of telegraph lines. With the rank of brevet lieutenant
colonel, he was honorably mustered out on June 5, 1866. Plum, The Military
Telegraph During the Civil War, I, 173, 303-305; House Executive Documents, 43rd
Cong., 2nd Sess. (Serial No. 1635), Document No. 1, Pt. 2, p. 797.
"Fort Clark was established on June 19, 1852, at the head of Las Moras Creek
near Brackettville in Kinney County. The post was evacuated in March, 1861,
because of the Civil War, but Federal troops reoccupied it on December 12, 1866.
The fort was abandoned after World War II. Webb and Carroll (eds.), Handbook,
"San Antonio was a center of defense dating back to the Spanish period when
missions were established there in 1718. In 1837, the town was made the county
seat of newly-created Bexar County. In 1849, it was made headquarters of the
Eighth Military District and, in 1875, it was the headquarters of the Department
of Texas. Ibid., II, 540-541.
"6Uvalde, on the Leona River in south central Uvalde County, dates from 1853
when Reading W. Black and Nathan L. Stratton started ranching on the site
near the route linking San Antonio with Laredo and El Paso. Ibid., 816, 827.
'7Sabinal, in the eastern section of Uvalde County, was founded in 1852. Ibid., 523.
e"D'Hanis was one of several settlements made under the sponsorship of Henri
Castro. Twenty-nine Alsatian families settled there on the Old San Antonio Road
in western Medina County, during 1847. Ibid., I, 498-499.
6"Castroville was founded by Henri Castro during 1844 in eastern Medina County
about twenty-five miles west of San Antonio. Ibid., 3og9.
70Isaac R. Birt served in the Signal Service from 1872 to 1879. Huber to L. T. E.,
April 18, 1962.
71John T. Fitzgerald (name also shown as John F.) remained in the army for
ten years, being discharged as a sergeant on July 1, 1883. Fitzgerald was relieved
from the Uvalde office in January, 1876, because of drunkenness, neglect of duty,
absence without leave, and shortage of money. He settled his account and was not
courtmartialled. Ibid., May 3, 1962; Greely to Chief Signal Officer, February
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/98/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.