Presidio in Presidio County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Captain Henry Skillman
Drove first Butterfield Overland mail coach in 1858 through dangerous Comanche Indian territory from Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos to El Paso. "Skinning" mule teams never driven before, made the drive in 4 days without rest or relief, his 6-foot frame in buckskins decorated with revolvers and Bowie knives, and his sandy hair and beard flowing to his waist.
A Confederate scout in the Civil War. After July 1862, when Federals seized El Paso and the Davis Mountains (to make the longest enemy occupation in Texas), liaison and courier to Confederate refugee colony in Juarez knowing country and people well, moved without fear of the Federals. Spread false rumors of Confederates massed in remote deserts, to send enemy troops on fruitless, exhausting chases. Most dreaded scout known to the occupation.
Singled out by the Union commander, was hunted by force commissioned to take him alive. Was killed resisting capture by Federal troops in camp at Spencer's Ranch near here on April 3, 1864.
Erected 1964 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 716.)
Location. 29° Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Presidio TX 79845, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. El Fortin de San Jose (approx. 3.2 miles away); Mission del Apostol Santiago (approx. 3.2 miles away); Presidio del Norte (approx. 3.2 miles away); Home of Ben Leaton (approx. 3.2 miles away).
Also see . . . Texas State Historical Association. Skillman is remembered as the driver of the first west-bound Butterfield Overland Mail stage, which arrived in El Paso on Thursday, September 30, 1858. Skillman took over the reins of the stage at the Horsehead Crossing station on Sunday morning and arrived in El Paso before dawn on Thursday, having spent ninety-six hours at his position, with no rest or relief. (Submitted on November 15, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.)
Categories. • War, Mexican-American • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 984 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 4, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.