And then the Soldiers were gone: Fort Ringgold and Rio Grande City
And Then The Soldiers Were Gone” is about the military base at Fort Ringgold that was established before the Civil War to protect the people of South Texas. It served as a military base for many years, until the 1940s, when the fort closed and the soldiers left Rio Grande City. The question that circulated within the city was what to do with the vacant base. Friction arose between those who wanted it to be a tuberculosis hospital and others who wanted it to be used as a center for education. Eventually, in 1949, the Rio Grande City Consolidated School District bought Fort Ringgold and it served as a school for decades for all students to attend. However, the divide between the people of Rio Grande City lingered. Then, in 2010, a project to research Fort Ringgold was created under then University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS). And in 2016, the idea for the documentary was born. It has earned spots in several film festivals and won awards such as The Award of Excellence in Research from the WRPN Short, Tight and Loose film Global Film Festival in 2018 and was a finalist: Best Domestic Feature, Documentary in the Fort Worth Indie Film Festival in 2018 and finalist: Best in Show, Documentary in the 2018 CARE Awards.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools Program (CHAPS), "And then the Soldiers were gone: Fort Ringgold and Rio Grande City" (2020). Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS) Recordings. 3.