Shooting Buffaloes from an Ambulance En Route to Fort Griffin, Texas

Ca. 1870 Courtesy of the Library of Congress

When 1st Lieutenant Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath relocated to Fort Griffin, Texas, in 1871, he was truly moving to the western frontier. Fort Griffin was beyond the reach of the railroads, and all transport was a matter of marching, wagon trains, and stage coaches. Fort Griffin, established in 1867, was one of many small forts constructed on the frontier to serve as a supply center for buffalo hunters and protection for the nearby small settlements. A rough-and-tumble settlement of buffalo hunters, cowboys, gamblers, cattle thieves and saloonkeepers – called “The Flat” – grew up adjacent to Fort Griffin.

Illustration of men shooting at a herd of buffalo.