Release Date: April 4, 2011
ASU History Grad Student Receives Top Paper Award from WTHA
An article written by Angelo State University graduate student Travis Taylor on soldier life at Fort Chadbourne prior to the Civil War has been named the best student paper presented at the annual meeting of the West Texas Historical Association (WTHA).
Taylor, a history major, received the award for his paper, “Garrison Life at Fort Chadbourne, 1852-61.” Taylor received a certificate and a check for $400 at the WTHA’s annual business luncheon Saturday (April 2) in Lubbock. He presented his paper Saturday morning to WTHA membership.
Taylor of San Angelo originally wrote the paper last fall for Dr. Arnoldo De León’s graduate class on the history of Texas. De León said the paper covered the period of Fort Chadbourne’s greatest significance and helped fill a void in scholarship on daily life in frontier garrisons before the Civil War. The essay, which relies extensively on primary historical sources, including the Fort Chadbourne Post Returns (1849-1867), focuses on the daily lives, routines, and experiences of Fort Chadbourne personnel while giving less attention to military campaigns or to Indian activities in West Texas.
“The paper,” said De León, “concludes that forces other than Indian attacks lay behind the harshness of daily life at Fort Chadbourne, among them frontier conditions, which produced illnesses such as diarrhea and fevers, as well as ailments afflicting the digestive system; the local climate; and the lack of an adequate water supply. Such circumstances produced boredom, desertions and, to a lesser extent, casualties, due primarily to work in building and maintaining the fort.”
The West Texas Historical Association is made up of academics and individuals with an abiding interest in preserving the rich history of the region for future generations.