Lonn Taylor Lecture: Fort D.A. Russell – America’s Last Cavalry Post

July 18, 2015 from 4-6PM

Admission: Free and open to the community

Lonn Taylor is a historian and writer who retired to Fort Davis, Texas, with his wife, Dedie, after twenty years as a historian at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. He received a BA in history and government from Texas Christian University in 1961 and did graduate work at New York University before returning to Texas to enter the museum field. He served as curator and director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Winedale Historical Center from 1970 to 1977; as curator of history at the Dallas Historical Society from 1977 to 1979; and as curator and deputy director of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe from 1980 to 1984. He writes a weekly column about Texas called “The Rambling Boy,” for the Marfa Big Bend Sentinel.

The Marfa and Presidio County Museum Association invited Talyor to speak about Fort D.A. Russell. Fort D. A. Russell is the name of an American military installation near Marfa, Texas, that was active from 1911 to 1946. Its namesake is David Allen Russell, a Civil War general killed at the Battle of Opequon, September 19, 1864. It was established in 1911 as Camp Albert, a base for cavalry and air reconnaissance units sent to protect West Texas from Mexican bandits after the Pancho Villa raid. The base was expanded and renamed Camp Marfa during World War I. In the interwar years, the base became the headquarters for the Marfa Command, which replaced the Big Bend District. In 1924, a patrol called the Mounted Watchmen was established to deter aliens from crossing the Rio Grande.