The U. S. Army camp that would later become Fort Griffin was established in 1856 to help protect a Comanche reservation that had been set up earlier in the area. When Robert E. Lee held the rank of Lt. Col. in the U. S. Army, he served here as commander from April, 1856 to July, 1857. It was located less than a mile from the Clear Fork of the Brazos River on a small plateau of about sixty feet in height providing an enhanced view of the surrounding area. The original location was in the lowlands a short distance away until a monsoon type rain hit and turned it into a swampy mess.
Category Archives: forts
(Image credit: Texas State Historical Association)
Fort Richardson was founded in 1866, following the end of the Civil War, first staffed near Jacksboro, Texas by elements of the 6th Cavalry. It was temporarily relocated around 20 miles north to a location known as Buffalo Springs in Clay County one year later. Buffalo Springs had the advantages of more plentiful water and timber, but was closer to the hostile tribes while also being further from supply depots in the Austin area. Construction was begun at Buffalo Springs, but was abandoned in favor of the original Jack County location after an Indian attack and several months of drought. The Jack County location was reestablished and consisted of about 300 acres along the Lost Creek tributary of the West Fork of the Trinity River. Construction had to start over as the previously abandoned buildings in Jacksboro had been used for building materials by the local settlers. Fort Richardson became the northern-most outpost in the chain of western forts.
(Image credit: Fort Concho National Historical Landmark)
Fort Concho was one of the later forts established in the frontier system, opened in 1867 after the Civil War. It took its name from the nearby branches of the Concho River, the water system that was a critical resource in the area. It was positioned as a replacement for Fort Chadbourne that was located about 45 miles to the north northeast. Fort Chadbourne’s water supply had failed prior to the Civil War.
Fort Belknap was founded in the summer of 1851 by Brig. Gen William Belknap, then commander of the Department of Texas, to provide support for the settlers against the Comanche and Kiowa tribes. It also served to protect traditionally friendly tribes like the Tonkowa against attacks from settlers and other area tribes. Belknap was also a waypoint on the Butterfield Overland Stage line that carried the United States Mail for a few years. It was the northern outpost in a string of forts established from the Rio Grande to the south to the Red River to the north. Located in Young County, it served the area for about 8 years.
Fort Stockton was originally an adobe fort built in 1859 by the United States Army as a means of protecting travelers, freighters and the mail service. It was located near what was known as Comanche Springs, the source of Comanche Creek. It served as a way point on the Old San Antonio Road, the Butterfield Overland Stage route and the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, Mexico.