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.

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Recent Reader's Responses 2010 | West Texas Frontier | Previous Years Comments
Recent Reader's Responses 2010
20 October, 2010, Tour of East Texas Oil Field

Does your group organize tours of the East Texas Oil field? I have a delegation of engineers from PetroChina who are interested in visiting the field. Thanks for your help.

9 October, 2010, Alamo Village Movie Location

Is Alamo Village Movie Location still open to tourist? We are planning a trip to Brackettville and would like to known if the Alamo Village Movie Location is still operating. Thank You!

Yes, the Alamo Village Movie location is still open to tourists. Here is their contact information: 2010 Summer Tourist Hours, Thurs, Fri, Sat, 10 A.M. - 3 P.M., Adult Admission 10.00 - Children under 6 FREE ~ CASH ONLY PLEASE ~, No Shows, Stores or Restaurants are open this summer. Call for more information, 830-563-2580

16 September, 2010 ~ Oxford Cemetery/Packsaddle Mountain Fight

The text on your website of Oxford Cemetery historical marker has some incorrect information. The Packsaddle Mountain fight was actually captained by James Ragsdale Moss. The actual marker in Oxford states this correctly. Sincerely, Wes Moss

Mr. Moss, after receiving your e-mail, I did some research and you are correct. The Texas Historical Commission (where we gathered this information) has it incorrect on this marker but correct on the Packsaddle Mountain marker. (We will leave this as it's how the marker reads but will leave this note for other visitors.) Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Lea Ann Rector ~ Fort Tours

15 September, 2010 ~ Jasper County Historical Markers

I just stumbled across your website and was enjoying the historical markers for the county that I grew up in. I was just curious though... is this all the historical sites or were they edited down? I remember several from my child hood that were not mentioned.

Original townsite of Zavalla which is near Fm 255 and Highway 63 or the Home of an original signer of the Constitution on FM 1747 near the intersection with FM 2799.

There are a few others but I am having trouble remember who, what, and where.

Hi James, Yes, we did edit down as we were trying to list only markers related to Frontier America, however, I have added one of the markers that you asked about and I added your e-mail to the page so others would understand. Also, since you mentioned you were having trouble remembering the other markers, I wanted to give you the link to the Texas Historical Commission where you can look up any Texas historical marker by name or by county (see below). Happy searching!

30 August, 2010, Fort Dodge, KS Hospital

Sirs, I have an obituary that indicates Dr. Horace J. Pratt was responsible for overseeing the first hospital built at Ft. Dodge in 1865-1866. Would you have any records that would substantiate his participation? Also that he made an historic ride of over 120 miles in 20 hours perhaps between Ft. Dodge and another fort at that time. Any info on Dr. Pratt would be much appreciated by us local historians.

(I am recording the house history for Montello, Wisconsin, his town of record.)

11 August, 2010, Hood & Parker County Research

I happened upon your site while doing some genealogical research for Hood and Parker counties, TX - it is fantastic! Do you have a bibliography ut together used to develop your site for Comancheria and if so, would you mind sharing it? Do you happen to have all of the photos, text, and maps put together I could buy - it would save me time coying and pasting! I am an amateur historian of the same period and region with ancestors (Nathan Holt was a relative of my ancestors - the Selfs from Hood Co.) who were involved in some of the raids described at your site. Again, a truly wonderful site!

4 August, 2010, Mineral Wells History ~ Sam Savage

I am writing a pictorial history of Mineral Wells, Texas, and I would like to use your copy of the Sam Savage photo. I will gladly give you photo credit for it. If you have it in a larger size than 72 dpi, I could use that. I really need 300 dpi. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sue, These pictures were from the book, A Cry Unheard, by Doyle Marshall. He gave picture credit to S. Davis, Cool Texas. I did a little research and I believe this is his contact information. Good luck and let us know when it's complete. We'd like to get a copy. Lea Ann Rector Fort Tours

Lea Ann, I have just spoken with Mr. Marshall, and he is sending me copies of several photos. Thanks so much for your assistance. I will send you a copy.

2 August, 2010, Marcy's California Trail Rock

Sir, I came across an old rock in western young county, Texas. It read "Marcys California Trail, 1849" And at the fork in the road it read " Ft. Belknap cuttoff, 2 mi. W.S.W ". Would like to learn more about it. Thanks. I don't want it to get into the wrong hands. Thanks Again

30 July, 2010, Fort Screven

Family stories tell me that my great-grandfather was stationed at Fort Screven around 1911 or 1912. His name was Samuel P. Kidwell, his wife's name was either Mary or Mamie and they were friends with the Bruggermans (spelling?) who used to be the lighthouse keepers. Samuel and his wife had two daughters, Anna (my grandmother) and Ruth. I'm also told that my grandfather, Clarence Brutcher, slept in the lighthouse when he came courting my grandmother.

I was born in Savannah and visited the fort back in 2006 but did not have time to do any research. Are there any records verifying that Samuel P. Kidwell was really there, when he was there and what he did? I would appreciate any information you could provide or any links that might point me in the right direction.

30 July, 2010, Wounded Knee Massacre

My name is Matthew Karenke and I work with a non profit organization called Global Change Multi-media in Tubac, AZ.

We are producing an interview with Russell Means in which he mentions the Wounded Knee massacre. There were two pictures on your site which we would like to use in the video. Can you tell us if they are available for public use or if not where to write to request permission to use the images? Please see attached images. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

19 July, 2010, Fort LeBoeuf

This message is for the webmaster of the Fort LeBoeuf museum.
This is Sally from the Edinboro University Anthropology Department. The Fort LeBoeuf Museum closed due to insufficient federal funding. Please mention this change on the museum's website as soon as possible. If you have any questions feel free to call us back on 814-732-2575.

16 July, 2010, Fort William Henry ~ Capt. John Hutchins

I have been working on my family history for the past few decades. I recently discovered, and verified, that my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather is/was Capt. John Hutchins, who had charge of Fort William Henry effective 16 May 1692*. He was later an alderman of New York City, involved in the Bayard/Hutchins treason trial, and owner of Kings Arms Coffeehouse. Does the museum exhibit at Fort William Henry indicate or have any references to Capt. John Hutchins?

I currently live in Saigon, Vietnam, but am resettling with my family to Indiana in November. We plan to visit New England and various sites during Spring 2011. I'd be very interested in seeing the assignment of my ancestor.

12 July, 2010, Aaron Hart

Do you happen to have in the archives, any reference to where Aaron Hart was born in TN? I am his gr. gr. granddaughter and wish to find his ancestors. He says he was born in 1826 in TN, but I did not know if there were any specifics elsewhere. If you have any ideas, let me know.

12 July, 2010, Paranormal Investigation of Fort

My name is Gregory P. Michaud Sr. I am Co-founder/Team leader of P.R.I.S.M (Paranormal Research Investigators of Southern Maine). We are inquiring about doing a Paranormal Investigation at your site? Is this possible? Any Response would be greatly appreciated. If you cannot determine this could please give us a contact on whom may be able to help us with this project. thank You for your time in this matter.

10 June, 2010, Oatman Massacre

Can I give you a point of clarification though? The site above, the Oatman Massacre, was just west of Gila Bend (not west of Flagstaff ). anyway, thanks for your site!!

9 June, 2010, Custer Battlefield Museum

It was a pleasant surprise to see the web page for the Custer Battlefield Museum on the Fort Tours website. What a great description of the Museum Complex and history of the site. I know it would greatly benefit the visitors to our website. With your permission, we would like to put a link on our website directed to that page.

Gentle correction: The Museum is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. We may have changed the hours since your webpage was authored.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in the Custer Battlefield Museum. Please let me know if you have any questions.

1 June, 2010 ~ Union Soldier Cemetery

Is there a cemetery for the Union soldiers killed at the battle of Ditch Bayou/Lake Chicot? My Great Great Uncle Austus Berwalt was killed at that battle.

18 May, 2010 ~ Texas Heritage Museum - Hill College

I was browsing for information online and came across your Fort Tours website. You have a page for Hill County museums, but the museum I work at wasn't on it. Would it be possible to add our information to that page? We are Texas Heritage Museum - Hill College, 112 Lamar, Hillsboro, TX 76645, 254-659-7750

Our focus is Texas military history, from the Texas Revolution through Vietnam. We have a memorial on the front lawn to native-born Texan Medal of Honor recipients. Onsite within the museum is also the Historical Research Center, used most often to research Civil War service records, and the Hill College Press, which publishes a book a year about Texas military or North Central Texas history. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks so much! Kendall Milton
Curator, Texas Heritage Museum

Hi Kendall, Thank you for contacting us about your museum. I have added the information you sent to us to the following page:

If you'd like any additional information added, please let me know. P.S. I like your banner on your website home page... Lea Ann

17 May, 2010 ~ Chief Isimanica

I think I sent you a message, but I am not sure where or how it went, so I thought I would try again on my Yahoo account. This is where I get my email mostly.

I am a teacher and we are doing an end of year research project about historical figures we studied this year. Several of my students chose Isimanica. Did he die at the Battle of Plum Creek? If not, do you know where? And where could I track down that info? Anything you could tell us about him would be helpful.

The questions the kids have to answer are: When was he born and when did he die? What is he famous for? Is anything named after him (like a memorial)? And why did you choose to do research on him? They are putting together a very short powerpoint on this. They are second graders, by the way.

My great-great grandfather John James was, according to family tradition, nearly killed by one of the Chiefs at the Council House Fight, and one of my young cousins is in my class and is very interested in "her relative".

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I am sorry but we don't have any information on Chief Isimanica. I tried to do some research for you but came up with virtually nothing.

Now I am really interested in learning about him. If you happen to come across anything, please let me know... and I will do the same.

7 May, 2010 ~ Fort Davis

In my genealogy research it has brought me to your website. I am wondering about some history of a fort on your tour and do not know who else to ask. It was west of Fort Worth called Fort Davis. My ancestor reportedly died in confederate service at fort davis in 1864. I checked the fort davis in south texas and they ahd no soliders there during that time or him on the muster roles. So I was wondering about your fort davis if it ever had troops or a battle there. and I saw there was a cemetery does any of the graves have names? Thank you so much
Lori Brackenbury

Lori, I am sure you saw this page on our web site regarding Fort Davis;

There were Confederate soldiers there during that time. Here is a link to the Handbook of Texas' story.

Also, the book, Interwoven: A Pioneer Chronicle, by Sally Reynolds Matthews is an excellent source of information.

Lastly, here is a link of Texas Genealogy records.

I hope some of this helps! Lea Ann Rector, Fort Tours

11 March, 2008, Information Request on Historical Markers

There are two Historical Markers missing that I have noticed go missing over the last few years.
1. Sloan-Journey Expedition of 1838 Marker at Mosier Valley Rd. & FM 157, Arlington, TX
2. The Dalton Ferry Crossing Marker at Mosier Valley Rd. & FM 157, Arlington, TX

Can you let me know of any information that you might tell me about these missing markers? Thanks, Marshall

Marshall, I have contacted the Texas Historical Commission regarding the missing markers. (I also added a couple to the list.) As soon as I hear a response, I will advise. Lea Ann

7 March, 2010 ~ Log Cabin in Waco

In the 1940's forward, there was a log cabin located in the 8th Street Park between 7th & 8th streets, divided by Waco Creek. The cabin was fenced in and there was a marker. Baylor construction took in this site and do you know if the cabin was moved elsewhere in Waco?

I lived in a house next to the park. Many thanks, Jack Hoffman, Salado, TX

Hello Jack, I'm sorry but we do not know the answer to your question. You may want to contact the people below. If they cannot help you, I bet they can point you in the right direction.

Central Texas Genealogical Society, Waco McLennan County Library, 1717 Austin Ave., Waco, TX 76701, (254) 750-5945

25 February, 2010 ~ Fort Griswold Photos

I finished editing the photos I took at Fort Griswold, last fall. They are all now up online and can be found here...


If you want to add any of these photos on myspace or facebook or some place similar, please feel free. Just please be sure to give me credit and let me know. If you want to use them for any other purpose, obviously contact me to discuss first.

Thanks for looking and all your support. Take care, Dean MacKay, Photographer, 213.840.4756

25 February, 2010 ~ Old Fort Wayne

I noticed that on your great website, there were quite a few battles and forts missing in the midwest. One of the greatest ones is the rebuilt fort, Fort Wayne. While it is not open all of the time, there are times that there are reenactments and demonstrations there. Please see the forts website Thanks, Josh

24 February, 2010 ~ Camp Grant Massacre Site

I found your email address after a little searching under Camp Grant Massacre. I represent three men who are very interested in Arizona history and periodically go out and spend an afternoon visiting the actual sites of some events around the southern part of the state. We just went to the Ward Ranch west of Patagonia. Even though two of us have lived in Arizona for more than 50 years, we do not know the exact spot of the Camp Grant Massacre. Is this something you can help us with? I do not think there is a physical marker on the exact spot???

Hello Butch, We do not know the actual spot but did find information regarding that on this web site.

21, February 2010 ~ Hood Plantation

Can you give me any information about the HOOD Plantation built in the 1860's. If the Hood family still own it, or who purchased it, if anyone live in it? I think it was located near Glen Flora, TX.

Hello Anne, I'm sorry but we do not have that information. You may want to contact the Wharton County Historical Society at (979-532-2600). If they don't have the information, I bet they can point you in the right direction.

19 February 2010 ~ Sibley Expedition

Rick, I read your material on the Sibley Expedition at

...and was especially interested in the quotes from From Felix Collard.

My great-Grandfather was in Co G 7th Texas along with Collard and I have tried to get access to Collard's diary from his descendant in New Mexico, but have been unsuccessful.

Since you appear to have, or have had, access to material form the diary, I would appreciate it if you could advise how I might be able to read a copy or access material from the diary? Thanks, Curtis Wells

Hello Curt, A lot of the information is from the book, Blood & Treasure, Confederate Empire in the Southwest, by Donald S. Frazier, which can be found on our website at

I hope this provides some of the information you are looking for.

17, February 2010 ~ Montague County Cemetery

My great grandfather is buried in a cemetery out in a pasture. the gate is always chain locked. There is supposed to be a key to the lock at the store in Forestburg but they say they have never seen one. The cows have knocked over tops of monuments and stomped some of them down. My great grandfather fought in the civil war. How can I get these people to allow us in and fix up the cemetery? Thanks.

I am sorry to hear that. I am not sure to whom you should contact but I would start with the historical society in Montague County. I have listed the contact information below. If they can't help you, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

North Montague County Museum
201 N. Clay Street
Nocona, Texas 76255

or call (940) 825-3113 - (940) 987-3271 for more information. Good Luck and if you can get pictures, feel free to pass along to us.

16 February, 2010 ~ Col. James Wilkinson's Revolver

This is an impertinence, I know, but I wondered if I could solicit any help from you.

I have an idea that I have just bought Col., W.J.Wilkinson's Second Model Colt Navy Revolver. It is serial number 5185, and is inscribed down the brass backstrap "W.J.Wilkinson - Topeka Kansas - 1856"

Being more 'on the ground' over there than I am here in England, I wondered whether you had information about Col., Wilkinson. Where and when he died would be an excellent addition to what I have already read. As would any photograph.

Please feel free to ignore, if this is something you don't have time to look into, but any help you MIGHT me able to give would be MUCH appreciated

With Kindest regards to you (and yours)

Sorry for the delay in responding. There is a new book entitled, An Artist in Treason, that is about Col. James Wilkinson's life. You can purchase it through our site at It is the first book listed on this page. Congratulations on such a great find.

13 February, 2010 ~ Hardee Miniature

Greetings, I sculpt and cast into metal 54mm Civil War soldiers, including Hardee, Wheeler, Sherman Thomas and other personalities from the war in Georgia. Would the forts Jackson & Pulaski be interested in samples of these figures? Nike Allen

7 February, 2010 ~ Benavides Brothers

Dear Sir, I Iove your website and the history on it. I am looking for pictures of these guys, for my Confederate History and heritage month class

I have found a Photo of 4 men in Uniform Refugio Benavides, Atanacio Vidaurri, Cristobal Benavides, and Juan Z. Leyendecker Officers of the Benavides Texas cavalry 33rd Texas CSA. This photo is in a Cookbook
Tex-Mex by Robb Walsh.

I am looking for a copy of the original as is in this book, along with a copy of the photo you have on your site. Can you point me in the right direction where I can obtain a copy of the brothers and the one you have? Thanks
Joel Hewitt, Confederate Research Group, Sons Of Confederate Veterans

Mr. Hewitt, I would call the Laredo Public Library for the picture of him that we have on our site. On the other pic, the only suggestion I have is to contact Mr. Walsh and find out where he obtained the photo.

Sorry I couldn't be more help. Lea Ann Rector, Fort Tours

6 February, 2010 ~ J.J. Peate book on Island

Hello, my name is Al. The reason for me sending this email is I have in my possesion a book that J.J. Peate wrote on about what happen on the island and he signed it, J.J. Peate. I really want to find a home for this book so if you are interested, you can email me back. Thanks

4 February 2010 ~ Noah Cherry Grave

I took a picture of a gravesite on the Parkway in New Jersey, it has a headstone that reads Noah Cherry, 1907. I am very interested in why he is buried here in this unusual burial site. There are no other grave markers in this area. Can you help me out with this? I am very curious about him. Thank you very much. Mary M. Jeffers

Hello Mary, This is what I found on the grave: "In 1955 when the Parkway was being paved 3 graves were found and moved to the side of state property."

The graves are of Noah Cherry (1831-1907), General Askew (1853-1914), John S. Askew (1881-1907). The graves are on the southbound lane of the Parkway before Exit 4A. Source Whitesboro, New Jersey: Pioneers, Early Settlers, New Town by Alice Jones Roberson. CMC Vertical File - Whitesboro

Thank you so much for your reply to my request, it was very helpful. Thanks again. Mary

27 January, 2010 ~ Photograph of Maman-ti (Owl Prophet)

Hi, I've been looking all over the net for some pictures of Maman-ti. I had found one a couple years ago online but can't find it now. After I had to reformate my computer to restore it after a virus, I lost all my images. Was wondering if you could give me some links or some idea where to look for some pictures of the "illusive" Owl Prophet, any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanx, Laurie 🙂

Laurie, We had a photograph of prisoners at the St. Augustine fort and one was identified as Maman-ti (the Owl Prophet or Skywalker) but more recent research has determined that he actually died before the prisoners were sent to Ft. Marion.

I don't think there are any pictures of him, however, if you are lucky enough to find one, please let us know. Thanks and Good Luck, Lea Ann Rector Fort Tours

21, January, 2010 ~ Fort Dearborn Replica

Hi Rick, When I was in school, my father and I made a replica of Fort Dearborn for a school project. It has been in my mom's attic since the 70's. It is in very good condition and I would like to mail it to your fort. I think you will be impressed with the details of the fort. It is made out of cardboard and the ribs of the cardboard look like logs. If you want, I can email you a pic then you and the board can let me know if you want it. I would hate to burn it. Thank You, Richard P. James

20 January, 2010 ~ Hotel Information Change in Lubbock Community

I would like to update our business listing on you site. Please let me know how to accomplish this. Thank you!

I can update the information for you. I pulled up our Lubbock Community page and did not find you on there. Is it under a different name? The only Red Roof that I show is in Laredo. If you can tell me where you saw your information on our page, I will certainly change it.

In the accommodations section of the Lubbock community, my hotel is listed as Ramada Inn. We have not been Ramada in several years. Please let me know if you need additional information. Thank you very much for your help in changing this listing. If you ever need a place to stay in Lubbock please give a call. Shelly Smith, General Manager, Red Roof Inn & Conference Center, 6624 Interstate 27, Lubbock, Texas 79404, (806) 745-2208 ext. 403 office, (806) 745-1265 fax

11 January, 2010 ~ Metal Object Found (Historic Value?)

Hello, This inquiry is being sent to you and others with the hope that someone may be able to help me identify the item in question which I have attached a photo of.

Picture of Metal Object - Historic Value?
Click on picture to see a larger version

It was buried and found with a metal detector on private property in a remote region of southern Texas along the San Antonio river near Goliad.

It appears to be made of bronze, weighs nine pounds, and is very sturdy. It is constructed of individual bronze plates that are held together with decorative straps that are riveted into place. The base area measures about fifteen inches square. It stands about eight inches tall.

The top hole is three inches in diameter. The six holes around the base are 5/8” in diameter each. The inner portions of the six holes are not scratched, nor do they appear to have ever had anything inserted into them.

Around the underside there are remnants of what appears to once have been a collar or sheet that was attached (riveted) to the bottom.

I suspect it may have been an exterior piece of some kind, and possibly even mission, church, ranch, or presidio related. Of course, I am only speculating about it‘s origin and design, and have no solid evidence to support this claim. Thus the reason for this inquiry.

If you recognize the item, have any ideas, or know someone who does, please contact me with your comments.

Thank you. Very respectfully yours, Bob Brown

10 January, 2010 ~ Gilbert Lenox Rader Information

I am presently in Scottsdale and among other activities am trying to learn more about an uncle, Gilbert Lenox Rader, who was treated for tuberculosis at Fort Whipple that he had contracted in World War I. Does the museum have any records of patients? Or do you know who might have such records? He would have been there in the 1920s. Thank you! Ben Rader

9 January, 2010 ~ Catherine (Caty) Sanders - Killed at Gage Home

Hello, I have recently began my family history. My gggggrandmother was Catherine (Caty) Sanders killed at the home of Calvin Gage, her son in law Nov. 26 1860 in Jack Co Tx by Comanche Indians. I made a copy of the online story on the raid and I have a question. Is the location presently on private owned land? Is a marker there? Can the site be visited? Can you assist me and if not, who should I direct my inquiry? I thank you for your assistance. Sincerely, Kimberly Knight

8 January, 2010 ~ Frontier Army Museum

Hello, Do you by any chance have a contact email for someone at the Frontier Army Museum. I can't seem to find an email for a contact person over there and it's hard to call during work hours in the week. Any help would be great!

For older comments, click here.

West Texas Frontier

13 February, 2006 West Texas Frontier Book

Rick, Do you know where I can purchase a copy of this book? Thanks,
Jaime Reyes

Hi Jaime, This is a very rare book and the last time we saw it on the internet, it was going for over $500.00. We have the entire book on our site in a downloadable .pdf format. The link is below: Rick

Update: We now have both of McConnell's books on our website; just follow the link above.


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