Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 10 April 2006

Buffalo Soldiers

Fort Seldon, New Mexico – 10 April, 2006

In the afternoon we drive the bike 13 miles north on a deserted highway to historic Fort Seldon. The highway along the Rio Grande is lined with Pecan groves nourished by the river water. The trees are perfectly aligned like soldiers on parade so that an exact alignment appears each time the observer shifts position 45 degrees. The houses offer spectacular modern examples of southwestern adobe architecture.

We arrive at the fort as the historical re-enactment is breaking up. We meet an enactor called Rome Clay. He gives us a 15 minute run-down on Fort Seldon. The fort was staffed by black 'buffalo soldiers' after the civil war. These had a valiant civil war record and escorted travellers though Mescalero Apache territory for a number of years.

Rome Clay tells us that the small town of Mesilla was the capital of both Arizona and New Mexico in 1865. The 37 star flag on display at the fort dates from 1866. New Mexico and Arizona became states in 1912 (number 47 and 48).

The once mighty American adobe fortress is melting in the rain. These Fort Seldon pictures show that only small stubs remain. General McArthur spent his childhood years here learning to ride and shoot. He is the blonde on the right.
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