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Selected Military History Points of Interest

No. 1: Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Avenue. Historical marker on the outside wall shows the location of the 1839 log cabin of the Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas, General Albert Sidney Johnston, West Point Class of 1826, when the Texas Army defended the new capital of the Republic while it was being built.

No. 2: Southeast corner of Congress Avenue and 8th Street. Location in 1839 of the log cabin of Adjutant General Hugh McLeod, West Point Class of 1835.

No. 3: Northwest corner of Congress Avenue and 8th Street. Location of the home of Major Albert Sidney Johnston, U.S. Army, and his wife Eliza during the time he was U.S. Army Paymaster for all of the forts in Texas in the 1850s.

No. 4: Texas State Capitol Building. Inside the Main (South) Entrance on the west wall is a plaque of Mexican War casualties. In the Chamber of the Texas House of Representatives is the battle flag carried at the April 21, 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. Military monuments are on grounds and just southwest of grounds.

No. 5: Arno Nowotny Building, University of Texas, 2300 Red River Street in "Little Campus," southwest corner of Interstate 35 and Martin Luther King Street (formerly 19th Street). Location of 1865 Headquarters of Major General George Armstrong Custer, West Point Class of 1861, and his wife, Libby. General Custer was the commanding general of the U.S. Cavalry Division occupying Central Texas after the Civil War.

No. 6: The "Castle," 1111 West 11th Street. Former home of the Texas Military Institute (TMI), with discipline modeled after West Point. When Texas A&M opened in 1879, the entire staff and faculty moved to Texas A&M, and TMI was abandoned.

No. 7: Austin High School, 1715 West Cesar Chavez Street. Location of Camp Sanders, the 1865 camp of the 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, Custer’s Division. The 6th Cavalry was commanded by Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, West Point Class of 1846. Regimental headquarters was probably in the anti-bellum house to the north, now American Legion Post 76.

No. 8: Texas Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry. Entrance to Camp Mabry is at 3056 West 35th Street. Show photo ID to guard at entrance. Museum has 45,000 square feet of uniforms, weapons, tanks, artillery, insignia, unit military items.

No. 9: Mount Bonnell, 3800 Mount Bonnell Road. First see:
Pay particular attention to the 11 minute educational video at this website.

This peak overlooks Austin. It was probably named for Captain Joseph Bonnell, West Point Class of 1825, a friend of Albert Sidney Johnston and Hugh McLeod. Joseph Bonnell was the only person in history who was an officer in the Regular Army of the United States and of the Republic of Texas at the same time. He was General Sam Houston’s Aide-de-Camp and a hero of the Texas Revolution.

General Custer and Libby enjoyed picnics on the summit of Mount Bonnell with the 6th Cavalry Band. They particularly enjoyed the band playing the Anvil Chorus because it echoed through the hills.

Seldon B. Graham, Jr. USMA '51

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