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The pay is thirteen dollars a month; their diet: beans and hay. Maybe horsemeat before this campaign is over. Fight over cards or rotgut whiskey, but share the last drop in their canteens. The faces may change… the names… but they’re there: they’re the regiment… the regular army… now and fifty years from now.

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Frontier crossroads : Fort Davis and the West Robert Wooster College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c 2006 Hardcover. 1st ed. xii, 210 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [145]-200) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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The idea of the West conjures images of tenacious men and women, huge expanses of unclaimed territory, and feelings of both adventure and lonesome isolation. Located astride communication lines linking San Antonio, El Paso, Presidio, and Chihuahua City, the United States Army’s post at Fort Davis commanded a strategic position at a military, cultural, and economic crossroads of nineteenth-century Texas. Using extensive research of long forgotten records, Wooster brings his readers into the world of Fort Davis, a place of encounter, conquest, and community.

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The fort here spawned a thriving civilian settlement and served as the economic nexus for regional development Frontier Crossroads schools its readers in the daily lives of soldiers, their dependents, and civilians at the fort and in the surrounding area. The resulting history of the intriguing blend of Hispanic, Anglo, and European immigrants who came to Fort Davis is a benchmark volume that will serve as the standard to which other post histories will be compared.

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The military garrisons of Fort Davis represented a rich mosaic of nineteenth-century American life. Each of the army’s four black regiments served there following the Civil War, and its garrisons engaged in many of the army’s grueling campaigns against Apache and Comanche Indians. Characters such as artist and officer Arthur T. Lee, William “Pecos Bill” Shafter, and Benjamin Grierson and his family come alive under Wooster’s pen. Frontier Crossroads will enrich its readers with its careful analysis of life on the frontier.

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