Monday, January 10, 2011

THE Trip, Fort Seldon, Near Radium Springs, New Mexico

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

That is a Century plant, few bunged up edges, but, nice size.

Fort Seldon is about 15 miles north of Las Cruces.  We took an afternoon jaunt up there.  The fort was built in 1865  for the purpose of protecting westward settlers from Native American raids.  The signage and short movie at the visitors center told us the post fell into disrepair after the Civil War.  It was ultimately abandoned in 1891. has a page on the fort here.

The first troops to occupy the fort were companies of the 125th US Colored Infantry Regiment, a group of African-American enlisted soldiers from Kentucky.  They had been mustered into the Union Army near the close of the Civil War.

This statuary is called, "The Sentinel"
By Regnaldo Rivera
Representing the 1876 9th & 10th Calvary.

In 1884, Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr., 13th Infantry, was assigned as post commander.  Accompanying him to this rugged western post was his wife and two young sons, Arthur MacArthur III, aged 7 and Douglas MacArthur, aged 4.  (YES, THAT Douglas MacArthur.)

The adobe brick walls of the fort are slowly disappearing due to weather and moisture.  They estimate that in about 30 to 40 years there will be nothing left of these walls. 

Some of the adobe walls, all that is left of one of the buildings.

A close up photo of a wall, noting stones and
grass mixed in with the adobe mud.
I found a "recipe" online for adobe,
it called for sand, clay and straw, and of course, water.

Speaking of recipes, I found these inside the visitor's center.  Don't they sound appetizing??


Cannon Balls (Sufficient for 22 men)

6 pounds flour
1 1/2 pounds suet
3 pints molasses
1 pint water

Chop up the suet, mix with flour, mix the molasses with water, put the flour into a bowl, pour the molasses gradually upon it, mixing it with the flour; when the whole is well mixed, and not too soft, form it into any size balls required, flour some cloths, tie up each ball separately in cloth, not too tight, and boil from one hour upward, according to size.

These, with lime juice, are an excellent antiscorbutic, and will keep good for twelve months, and longer. They could be made before going on any long voyage, and given out as rations.


Artillery Pie (Sufficient for 22 men)

8 pounds bread
4 dozen apples
1 pound suet
2 pounds sugar

Melt the suet in a frying pan, cut the bread into slices one-quarter of an inch in thickness, dip each piece into the melted fat, and place them in an oven to dry. In the meanwhile get the apples peeled, boiled and mashed with the sugar. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with the bread, cover the bread with some of the apples, then some more bread over that, then the apples, thus until all is used; place it in an oven and bake for twenty minutes.


Coffee A La Zouave For a Mess of Ten Soldiers

Put 10 pints of water into a canteen saucepan on the fire; when boiling add 7 1/2 ounces of coffee, which forms the ration, mix them well with a spoon or a piece of wood, leave them on the fire for a few minutes longer, or until just beginning to boil. Take if off and pour in 1 pint of cold water, let the whole remain for ten minutes or a little longer. The dregs of the coffee will fall to the bottom, and your coffee will be clear. Pour ration sugar or 2 teaspoons to the pint; if any milk is to be had, make 2 pints of coffee less; add that quanrity of milk to your coffee, the former may be boiled previously.


So would you like Artillery Pie or Cannon Balls with your Coffee A La Zouave??

Inside the visitor's center there were a number of very interesting displays.  I am usually drawn to displays of bottles and fabrics, here are a couple of photo of bottles found in and around the fort.

After we visited Fort Seldon, we took a auto tour of Leasburg Dam State Park, where I spied this sign:

Fort Seldon and the nearby Leasburg State Park, not large in physical size, but, packed with some very interesting history.  Wouldn't have missed it for anything.


1 comment:

Barbara Poole said...

Rather interesting post, yummy recipes and the history. Any other visitors there?