On Dec. 27, 1856, a howling blizzard greeted the famed 2nd Cavalry upon its arrival at Fort Belknap, and by morning many of the horse soldiers’ mounts had frozen to death in the subzero weather.

Fort Belknap was established six summers earlier, as the northern link in the chain of frontier defense extending from the Rio Grande to the Red River. William Goldsmith Belknap, the brevet brigadier general who picked the site at present-day Newcastle in Young County, named the outpost in his own honor.

Bartee Haile writes This Week In Texas History which appears every Sunday. He welcomes your comments and questions barteehaile@gmail.com or P.O. Box 130011, Spring, TX 77393 and invites you to visit his website at barteehaile.com.

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