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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Menard in Menard County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Bastions of Defense

 
 
Bastions of Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2018
1. Bastions of Defense Marker
Inscription.  The final stone construction of the bastions (projecting fortifications) was similar to the presidio construction. The temporary adobe structure created immediately upon arrival was replaced later with stone. However, unlike the other presidio structures, it is believed the bastions were rebuilt twice before finally being built of stone.

Although effective, the bastions were not perfect. The southeast bastion had a lower room with two cannons, but it was so small that the men risked suffocation from cannon smoke whenever the cannons were fired. Given their position, the adjacent walls were not fully protected and the men were dangerously exposed. The upper level might have had three cannons, as did the northwest bastion, which was filled with earth nearly to the top. Although they were better positioned, poorly constructed low parapets limited the soldiers’ protection.

The design and position of the two bastions made them in the words of one historian, “quite capable of effective defense of the fort.” The presidio was attacked on several occasions, and the artillery batteries, located in the two corner bastions,
Marker at Southeast Bastion image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2018
2. Marker at Southeast Bastion
played key roles in warding off attackers. It is believed that there were a total of seven or eight cannons comprising the bulk of the presidio’s armament.


(Upper Left Graphics Captions)
Artist’s conception of the original bastion. Artwork by Beverly Hatchett
Artist’s conception of the bastion as rebuilt by Rabago in 1761. Artwork by Beverly Hatchett
Artist’s conception of the stone bastion based on evidence. Artwork by Beverly Hatchett

(Lower Left Graphic Caption)
Cutaway illustration of the southeast stone bastion shows a lower level interior room. Artwork by Beverly Hatchett

(Right Images Captions)
Northwest bastion, round in shape, was filled with earth up to near its top and featured loopholes for the cannons. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kaser
Southeast bastion, square in shape, ws multi-leveled. Photo courtesy of Barry Wagner
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts or Castles.
 
Location. 30° 55.318′ N, 99° 48.062′ W. Marker is near Menard, Texas, in Menard County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 190 1.1 miles from Frisco Avenue (U.S. 83). Marker is located at the Presidio de San Saba Historic Site within the presidio walls; the above directions are to the driveway
View of San Saba River from Southeast Bastion image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2018
3. View of San Saba River from Southeast Bastion
entrance to the historic site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Menard TX 76859, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Real Presidio de San Saba (within shouting distance of this marker); Restoration and Reconstruction (within shouting distance of this marker); VIP Quarters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Presidio de San Sabá (about 400 feet away); Arroyo de Juan Lorenzo (approx. 0.3 miles away); "The Ditch" (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Lafora Map / An Apache Encampment (approx. one mile away); Presidio de San Luis de las Amarillas (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Menard.
 
Also see . . .
1. San Luis de Las Amarillas Presidio. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on April 4, 2018.) 

2. Presidio de San Saba Historic Site. Official website. Includes before and after restoration videos. (Submitted on April 4, 2018.) 
 
Real Presidio de San Saba image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2018
4. Real Presidio de San Saba
View to northwest from southeast bastion of presidio
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2018, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 4, 2018, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   4. submitted on April 2, 2018, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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Jun. 3, 2020