In the manual, marchings and sword exercise, dis-
mounted, the company showed a fair degree of proficiency. In the
saddle, they acquitted themselves very handsomely, marching
with accuracy by twos, fours, and with company front, at a
walk, trot, and gallop; skirmishing as dragoons on foot, and
as mounted foragers; and keeping the bar and ditch with great
spirit and a perfect working of their horses. It was evident
that much attention had been given to this part of their in-
I was gratified too to find—it was the solitary
exception throughout my tour—the Guard House, that saddest
of all places in a garrison, without a single prisoner. Bvt Maj.
Merrill informs me that most of his men belong to the temperance
society, and that he has rarely occasion to confine any of them.
Having said this much, it is scarcely necessary to add that I found
the discipline and police of the post excellent.
A fine garden of eight acres is cultivated by the command.
Quartermaster’s Department—(2d Lt. J.P. Holliday, Actg. _____[?] QMaster.)
The monthly disbursements average $500, for the
purchase of forage, hire of the Guide and interpreter, (at $40 per
month,) and pay of extra duty men, of whom ten are usually
employed. The means of transportation are two wagons and 18
mules. The resources of the neighboring country are very great.
Any amount of forage that may be required for the troops can
be obtained within 60 miles. Hay is furnished at $2.99 cents
per ton, and corn and oats at 40 and 37½ cents per bushel, respec-
tively. There are 200 tons of hay and 800 bushels of corn on hand.
Pine lumber may be had at the mills, 160 miles east, at $15 per thou-
sand—if delivered at the fort, the cost is $60. Mixed lumber (oak, elm,
etc,) sells at Dallas, 38 miles distant, at $20, and cedar shingles at $5.
Limestone abounds in the vicinity.
Lt. Holliday had just relieved Bvt. Maj. Merrill
in the duties of the Quartermaster’s and Subsistence Departments of
the post. The accounts of the latter officer in those two departments
seemed to be correct.
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel W.G. Freeman's Inspection of the 8th Military Department, 1853. Manuscript Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.