You can see them throughout Texas, in the cities and in the deserted countryside, silent sentinels of a by-gone era. These old buildings are a testament to the frontier days in Texas. Some give a full picture of the times through their beautifully restored grounds. Others only hint at past events with their crumbling walls and solitary chimneys.
These are the frontier forts of Texas, and this is their story. It’s the history of the civilian and military personnel who lived at these posts; African Americans, European immigrants, and Anglo Americans who came to remote regions of Texas to guard the mail routes and wagon roads and to protect the settlers moving west. The presence of these forts encouraged economic expansion into the frontier, giving birth to countless communities, many of which still thrive today.
Finally, this is also the history of the Native Americans who were displaced by these forts and the communities that sprang up around them. The chronicle of the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache and Kickapoo tribes is intertwined with these forts; for these posts marked the end of the American Indian way of life and forever changed their tribal culture.
This documentary will take you back to 19th century frontier Texas. You’ll experience daily life at these forts, and you’ll also gain insight into the American Indian conflict in Texas. This program features interviews with some of the leading experts on these subjects, including Robert Utley, Robert Wooster, Allen Hamilton, Robert Bluthardt and James Goss, among many others.
From the Panhandle to Brownsville, and from El Paso to Fredericksburg, you’ll see the forts of Texas and learn about many of the major events that occurred at these posts and on the frontier during this period. Along the way you’ll meet people of many cultures – all who played vital roles in shaping Texas and its history.