Given what graffiti looks like today, I’m having a hard time imagining P. Gilmer painstakingly carving his name in block letters 160 years ago. In addition to his carving, there were others on the rocks done in carefully carved elegant calligraphy. Penmanship was obviously a much bigger deal back then, at least for some.
Besides his penmanship, Breckinridge’s other claim to fame was that he was part of an army expedition testing the usefulness of camels in crossing the deserts in the Southwest. While the expedition’s leader, Lt. Edward Beale wrote of success with the camels, the Army canceled the program when the Civil War started a few years later.