University of Texas at Austin wordmarkCollege of Liberal Arts wordmark
Texas Beyond History
TBH Home
Frontier Forts Main

The vast and dry Trans-Pecos region was a formidable obstacle for Indian, Spanish, and Anglo travelers in western Texas. Fort Davis, constructed in the 1850s to help protect emigrants headed for the California gold fields, continued to guard the San Antonio-El Paso road after the Civil War and became the hub of the United States Army's last major Indian campaign in Texas. For the soldiers stationed in the diverse region, the rugged environment presented special challenges, from guarding the narrow trails through the mountains to the difficult crossings of the Pecos River. It was in this region that the mild music teacher-turned-warrior Benjamin Grierson and famed Apache leader Victorio made their reputations. To begin the journey on Trans-Pecos frontier, click on Trails of the Trans-Pecos for an overview tracing the conflicts that began long before the white man entered the region.