Spread of Army Posts

“By the annexation of New Mexico and the regions to the west as far as the Pacific Ocean [in 1848], the United States shouldered the heavy responsibility of keeping in subjection the fierce tribes who inhabited these areas. This task involved the establishment of permanent military posts with year-round garrisons. By 1849 there were seven of these with troops totaling 987. Ten years later the number of posts had risen to sixteen. Every one, situated as they were in barren regions incapable of supporting them, had to be supplied with goods hauled in wagons from the Missouri River.”