Bob Ballew Introduction

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

What was a simple conversation about the capabilities of the internet set events in motion that will probably link me forever to Rick Steed's project on Fort Tours at and its galling history of massacres and blood. Something wasn't right. The large oak trees that stood guard at the ranch's cattle-guard, rustled and unnerved me. As a natural born Texan, standing six-three and 300 pounds, this was a scary assault on my excessive male machismo. A simple night walk in the country triggered memories of my discussion with Rick Steed about the massacres and mayhem that was a consistent threat to our forefathers in this area. Little did I know that this night would cement the old and the new for me forever.

I was about to make a mental link, between a pleasant and relaxing walk in the moonlight, to surrounding sites of massacres, slow deaths, rapes, scalpings, secret brutality and many stories more repulsive and riveting than anything in movies or on TV. I would soon learn that these sites were everywhere around me. I could drive a short ways from home and be standing in the middle of a battlefield or on the site of a bloody skirmish. These are everywhere in Texas.

Driving down any highway or country road can present more of the most vivid and bloody Texas history than you can ever imagine. If there is a good view, fertile or strategic land, or clean water nearby, some one has probably lived and died there in the past. Road Trip Maps. It may have been a native American, a traveler, a settler, or one of their descendants, but someone's blood was spilled in the daily contest for life and land in Texas' woods and prairies. A few of their histories are recorded in the contemporary writings of the times, expressed with raw emotion in the language and words of the those people and kept in the communal and private collections of Texans and their descendants. Everything from military forts to camp fires described and enshrined the Ghosts of the Cross Timbers.

Rick Steed's Fort Tours, Inc. has begun a physical and cyber journey that is not for the weak of heart or politically correct. It reports many tragic and bloody incidents as presented by the people and documents of the time. His material is not about right or wrong, racial equalities, or public fairness. It resounds with the blood and sweat of the tragic and vicious history of Texas and the Southwest. I stumbled upon it in a frightening way! Start a tour into a bit of bloody and vicious Texas history. Better yet! Gather you family or friends, use the maps, and take a road trip to sites that you will never forget. I'll never again feel quite as safe when I walk in the country at night. ...I know about the Ghosts of the Cross Timbers!

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