Granny Lee LbNA # 44877
|Placed Date||Dec 3 2008|
|Last Update||Jun 12 2011|
The county seat of Coke County is Robert Lee, which is named, of course, for Robert E. Lee, who was stationed in Texas before the Civil War. He commanded Camp Cooper, in present-day Throckmorton County for nineteen months in 1855-56. He was never stationed at Fort Chadbourne, but was a visitor here. This letterbox is dedicated to Robert E. Lee’s time in Texas and is titled with the name given to him by soldiers under his command. In the early days of the Civil War, the public viewed Lee as too cautious in battle, and gave him the name "Granny Lee". It was this patience, wrongly interpreted as reluctance to fight, which enabled Lee to keep the Union forces at bay for almost four years. Fort Chadbourne was established October 28, 1852 by companies A and K of the Eighth United States Infantry. The fort was named for 2nd Lt. Theodore Lincoln Chadbourne who fought and was killed in the Mexican War in the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. Fort Chadbourne is one of the frontier forts established to protect the settlers moving west. In 1876, the property was sold to the Odom family and still belongs to their descendants. In 1999, after one of the building walls collapsed during a storm, the owners decided that the ruins needed to be restored and protected and, to that end, established a foundation. A $1.1 million private donation has helped that dream become a reality. The public is welcome and private tours are available. There is no charge, but donations are accepted. This place is a Texas treasure and, when you visit, you should respect that fact. The letterbox does not disturb any of the ruins or artifacts. Please be discreet when you visit the box.
Fort Chadbourne is located halfway between Abilene and San Angelo, and is on Highway 277, twelve miles north of Bronte, in Coke County. Enter the property and stop at the small visitor’s display on the left to pick up brochures and leave a donation. Drive in, keeping right, and park in front of the sign that identifies the surgeon’s quarters.
To the box:
Walk up the hill to the ruins of the building, keeping them to your left and walk down the faint roadway. As you start downhill, you’ll see two scrub oak trees on the left, very close together. Granny Lee is at the base of the first tree, covered with rocks.