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Two days dispatch from Fort Peligroso

The area to the west of the
Capitol is rough to begin with, but flattens out considerable. Then
again, as one approaches the Fort, the ground becomes rocky again,
with sparse vegetation, and granite hillocks become frequent – not
so high as mountains, but quite rugged. Peligroso is the only
fortification in Texas that presents formidable defenses, the others
are merely permanent garrison buildings. Peligroso consists of a set
of billets inside a surrounding adobe enclosure, and in each corner
of the quadrangle is a pentagonal redoubt…

 

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(You will notice in this likeness that Pilipo has his musket over his shoulder, but the muzzle is pointed downward. This is an habitual, and reasonable, treatment of arms for soldiers in the field. It protects the breech from contamination and is easy to bring to bear; however, if the musket is loaded he would have to carry the muzzle up, prehaps protecting it with a tompkin – usually a wooden plug resembling a clothes pin and usually adorned with a brass cap, perhaps even monogrammed – in case of inclement weather.  – G.V.)

…able to fire enfilade along
the twenty foot tall adobe walls reinforced with logs brought from
the eastern part of the Lone Star Republic where a huge woodland
stands. The ground just under the walls, and thirty feet outward, are
festooned with stakes and laced with chevaux-de-frise to keep enemy
soldiers, or braves, in sight of the riflemen and not huddled below
the walls concocting mischief undermining the walls or firing weapons
at muzzles and hands coming through the crenelations. The
northwestern and southeastern redoubts house steam Gatlings, and the
northeastern and southwestern ones house six-pounders with reinforced
breeches. Outside the walls are where tents are pitched for the
majority of the soldiers along with a few flimsy buildings for
various means, each containing a can of volatile oil to fire the
building in the event of a large scale attack to refuse refuge for the
enemy.

Six miles toward Austin is
la Villita Peligroso, a small community around the trade center. There is a nice, though undoubtably rustic, public house there. They are called saloons here. This one happened to be part store, and one of the things for sale were very fine firearms …

 

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(Unfortunately, this dispatch was not completely transmitted – G.V.)

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