Glimpse into History at the Fort

Glimpse into History at the Fort

Three dozens letters, acquired by Fort Concho Historians, are adding quite a bit of color to the picture of our Fort in the 1800s. We take a closer look at the contents of the Grierson letters.
Three dozens letters, acquired by Fort Concho Historians, are adding quite a bit of color to the picture of our Fort in the 1800s.

We take a closer look at the contents of the Grierson letters.

Three dozen letters have made their way back home to the Historic Old Fort Concho, over 135 years later.

Site Manager, Robert Bluthardt, says this is probably the biggest find in over two decades.

"They have a wonderful scope and details of life at the Fort, and they're very personal but they're also very specific and we're just pleased to get the letters back," Bluthardt said.

Historian, Evelyn Lemon, says reading the letters handwritten by Alice Grierson (the wife of then Post Commander Colonel Benjamin Grierson) described the daily activities of the family of five children.

"A lot of it is sad, because there was a lot of death and illness out here on the frontier," Lemon said.

The majority were written to the oldest son, Charlie, who was attending West Point.

Lemon says, their only living daughter, Edith, also wrote one letter to her brother.

"All the same kind of details that her mother put in the letters. Who's sick, who was throwing parties, and I'm sure it was heartbreaking for Charlie when he found out that his sister had passed away," Lemon said.

That letter soon followed.

"It's a very sad poignant letter. In fact, she doesn't even get to Edith's death until about halfway through the letter, and you can speculate that she just couldn't bear to bring that news up," Lemon said.

Lemon says, many lighter moments were shared as well. We get a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1878, a celebration without turkey.

"Well in previous letters she talks about them turkey hunting, and coming home with 20 turkeys and 30 turkeys and 16 turkeys; well, no wonder they're getting scarce, they're shooting them all. So they spent a Thanksgiving without turkey," Lemon said.

Dozens of letters. Priceless history. Stories to last forever.

"History is about the full story. These buildings, these displays they're about people and people are about stories and these letters will help that," Bluthardt said.
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