The defense of a territory as big as Texas required investing big resources into the effort-materials and man power, especially-a fact not lost on our Texas ancestors. In fact, far more forts and presidios were constructed in Texas than the few still standing today. Throughout Texas history, whether during exploration, colonization, revolution, or expansion, Texans stayed busy establishing forts, presidios, military camps, barracks, and stockades to ward off potential enemies. During the 19th century alone, considered the state's expansionist period for Anglo-Americans, more than 30 defensive forts were built across the state.
Sometimes the fortresses held their ground; other times they burned to the ground or were moved stone by stone. Texans have done a great job of restoring, conserving, and interpreting some of our finest remaining forts and Spanish presidios, whether they stand solid and intact or are simply the austere remains. A tour of the survivors like Fort Davis, the Alamo, and Fort Defiance provide great opportunities to imagine the heat of the battle (without actually getting shot). Wander their grounds and examine the ramparts, the cannons, the towers, and blockades, but don't forget to check your musket at the door.