The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 187
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Elliott Roosevelt's Visit to Texas in 1876-1877 1
Gordo, Mexico, April 15, 1847, and at Gaines' Mill, Virginia,
January 27, 1862. Then there were Brevet Lieut. Col. Nathaniel
Prime, 10th U. S. Infantry, an old friend of the family who
had been brevetted for gallantry at the Battle of Spottsylvania
and the Wilderness, August 1, 1864; and Captain Charles
Delavan Viele, 10th U. S. Cavalry, who had been brevetted for
gallantry at the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 4, 1863.
Viele was of an old Knickerbocker family that arrived in
New Amsterdam as early as 1639, five years before the Roose-
velts. The adjutant was Lieut. Edwin Olney Gibson, 10th U. S.
Infantry, another New Yorker, whom Elliott described as a
"nice little man." Young Elliott was particularly pleased with
the pleasant and jolly Lieut. Gregory Barrett, Jr., a Mary-
lander who had fought in the Civil War with the 4th Maryland
Volunteer Infantry and became a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel.
All these officers added to the pleasure of the New York tender-
foot and thrilled him with tales of adventure from the days
of the Mexican War to the Indian fights of our western frontier.
Fort McKavett was on a bluff on the south bank of the
San Saba, about two miles below its source. It was established
March 14, 1852, at the junction of two old Indian trails, one
running north and south, the other east and west. The perennial
springs furnished an alkaline but healthful water; and the
abundance of watercress all the year round was a godsend to
our soldiers in warding off scurvy, so prevalent at our western
forts due to the lack of green vegetables. The garden of thirty
acres was well watered and produced watermelons, squash,
canteloupe, tomatoes, and pumpkins.
Austin, about 180 miles east, was the site of the closest
railway, and San Antonio, with a population of 17,314, had
more Germans and Alsatians than all the Americans, English,
and Irish combined (City Directory, 1877-78, p. 37). There
were tri-weekly stages running from Austin and San Antonio,
with an east and west stage line to El Paso, that crossed near
Coglins Stage-Ranch sixteen miles to the south. The elevation
of the post was about 2,000 feet above sea level; the atmosphere
was dry with delightful breezes morning and evening during
early spring, summer, and fall, which added to the pure, fresh
drinking water made the post exceedingly healthful.
Soon after Elliott Roosevelt's arrival a shooting party was
arranged. It included his friends, General Clitz, Colonel Prime,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/205/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.