former Cavalry Post. Established in 1852, deactivated in 1947. Today
"Fort Clark Springs", a private resort. The main attraction continues
to be the spacious spring-fed pool. (Las Moras Springs). The museum
and many well preserved buildings make it easy to imagine life here
in the 1860s. The Post Theater remains as it was in 1946, the year
the Post was decommissioned.
Old Fort Clark Guardhouse Museum:
Displays includes artifacts from the Black
Seminole Indian Scout and Buffalo
soldier units. www.fortclark.com
|The pool at Fort
Clark (Las Moras Springs)
(Inside Ft. Clark. near entrance off Highway 90. On Bowie Street.
Intersection of Bowie and Main Streets, Brackettville,
A strategic installation
in the U.S. Army's line of forts along the military road stretching
from San Antonio to
Fort Clark was established in June 1852. Located near natural springs
and Las Moras Creek, its site was considered a point of primary importance
to the defense of frontier settlements and control of the U.S. Mexico
border. Many infantry regiments and almost all cavalry regiments were
at one time based at Fort Clark, as well as companies of Texas Rangers
and Confederate troops during the Civil War. The Army's Seminole-Negro
Indian Scouts also were assigned to Fort Clark, and with black
troops of the 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th infantry played a decisive
role in the Indian campaigns of the 1870s.
Prominent military leaders who served here include Col. Ranald S.
Mackenzie, Gen. Wesley Merritt, Gen. William R. Shafter, Gen. John
L. Bullis, Gen. Zenas R. Bliss, Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, and Gen.
George S. Patton, Jr.
Fort Clark remained a horse-cavalry post for the U.S. Army through
World War II
and finally was inactivated in 1946. The fort property, including
many native stone buildings constructed by civilian craftsmen in the
1870s, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
|Fort Clark Historical
| Texas Centennial
Marker (Highway 334 E, in front of Kinney
County Courthouse, Brackettville,
Founded June, 1852.
Guarded California road, rebuffed Indians, outlaws.
Named for Maj. J. B. Clark, killed in Mexican War.
Companies of infantry, artillery, cavalry stationed here. Clothing
issued proved too warm for summer. Buildings were too cold for winter
until chimneys were built in 1856. Troops routed Indians to Pecos
River mouth, helped expel bandit Cortinas from Brownsville,
1859. Union gave up Clark, 1861, after Texas seceded -- re- occupied
Used Seminole Scout Company.
Indian reservation established near post.
Duty here, decade after Civil War, was said to be equivalent to honorable
Practically all U.S. Cavalry regiments served here.
5th Cavalry served 1920-41.
In World War II,
2nd and 11th Cavalry trained here.
Post inactivated Feb. 9, 1946.
by the State of Texas 1963
Marker (1 McClernand Road, Brackettville,
Cavalry Division at Fort Clark
In response to the U.S. experience during World
War I, the army organized the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions in
1921. However, the 2nd Cavalry Division was not activated until 1941
at Fort Riley, Kansas. Among the units assigned were the 9th and 10th
Cavalry regiments, the famed buffalo
soldier units of the Indian Wars era, and two white cavalry regiments,
the 2nd and 14th, thus constituting the army’s first integrated division.
The War Department inactivated the division in 1942 to transfer personnel
to armored regiments. In November 1942, the War Department directed
reactivation of the 2nd Cavalry Division, assigning two new black
regiments, the 27th and the 28th Cavalry. It was also announced the
division would be divided between Fort Clark, Texas and Camp Lockett,
California. The division activated on February 25, 1943 with headquarters
at Fort Clark; command of the division was given to a native Texan,
Major General Harry H. Johnson.
Here on Fort Clark, over 5,000 horses trained alongside M3 Stuart
Light tanks and both were featured in a June 1943 20th Century Fox
movietone newsreel. Troopers endured hard training and the racial
injustices of the times. The War Department determined that there
was no need for a Second Cavalry Division and planned to again inactivate
it. During January 1944, the 2nd Cavalry Division was dismounted and
shipped back east for deployment abroad, arriving at Oran, North Africa,
on March 9, 1944; the division was inactivated the next day. Fort
Clark was closed after the last soldiers stationed here were deployed,
and the approximately 1,500 buildings which housed the 2nd Cavalry
Division were later razed. Although the 2nd Cavalry Division’s service
was short lived, it remains the only all-black cavalry division in
U.S. Army history and the largest mounted formation ever to serve
[See Texas Black History]
Marker (On NE corner of McClernand and Baylor Street, Fort Clark Springs,
1852, Fort Clark was manned by varying troop strengths over the years.
This guardhouse was built in the 1870s during a period of fort expansion.
A new stockade was built in 1942 to relieve overcrowding, and the
guardhouse became headquarters for the military police. Built of limestone
blocks, the building reflects an adoption of military design to local
materials and climate, and retains its 1930s appearance.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1962
Marker (123 McClernand Road, Brackettville,
The earliest quarters for soldiers at Fort Clark were tents along
Las Moras Creek near the spring. During the forts 1870s building boom,
stone cavalry barracks were constructed, but by the late 1920s. They
had become too deteriorated for continued use. Three two-story stone
cavalry barracks were constructed in 1931-1932 two replace the three
barracks that were razed. This new, fourth barracks was constructed
on the site of the first post Commissary which had burned in March,
1892, leaving the site vacant for 40 years. When the building was
completed, it contained state-of-the-art facilities, including three
30 by 60-foot open bays for bunks and wall lockers, a mess hall, troop
offices, supply and arms rooms, and a latrine. The building was so
modern and impressive that it was singled out in order to justify
the retention of Fort Clark as a permanent military post.
The first occupants of the barracks were the soldiers of “F” Troop,
5th US Cavalry. In 1941 the 5th Cavalry left the post and the barracks
were used by the 112th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard. The Buffalo
Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry, African-American troops, moved into
the barracks in fall, 1942. Lastly, for the remainder of World
War II, the barracks are occupied by 182 African-American enlisted
women of the Women's Army Corps Detachment of the 1855th Service Unit.
The two-story rectangular plan barracks is built atop a raised concrete
basement. Loadbearing walls are of limestone web wall construction,
with cast stone windowsills and steel lintels. The main elevation
is divided into 15 days by square wooden columns, with a cross braced
railing across the second-story porch.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 2009
|The Fort Clark
SW corner of Fort Clark Rd. and Patton Rd., Fort Clark Springs
Gibson, August 2011
1932, this building replaced an earlier Fort Clark Post Hall that
served as a church, courtroom, theater, and recreational center. A
utilitarian military design of clear span construction, brick walls,
and a stucco veneer, the building also exhibits classical style influences
in its pilasters, arched windows, and pediment. A popular movie theater
until the fort was closed in 1944, it later became a town hall for
the Fort Clark Springs community.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1997
Marker (154 Fort Clark Road, Brackettville,
Army Service Club
Occupying the site of Fort Clark’s first guardhouse, this 1938 structure
served as a morale and welfare facility until 1944, when the U.S.
Army closed the fort. The building was a recreation center for soldiers,
and served as a non-commissioned officers’ club during World
War II mobilization.
The building has also been a country club and community center. The
one-story structure is a rectangular plan frame building with horizontal
siding atop a limestone webwall foundation. Banks of casement windows
and wood louvered vents originally provided ventilation and light.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2009
Marker (367 Fort Clark Road, Brackettville,
CLARK BY 1873 HAD GROWN TO REGIMENTAL SIZE, COMPELLING CONSTRUCTION
OF SIX SINGLE-STORY INFANTRY BARRACKS AND THREE TWO-STORY CAVALRY
BARRACKS BY THE U. S. ARMY QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT. THIS ONE-STORY
RECTANGULAR PLAN BARRACKS WAS BUILT OF COURSED RUBBLE LIMESTONE WITH
A GABLE WOOD SHINGLE ROOF, STONE FIREPLACES, CENTRAL ROOF VENT AND
SHED FRONT PORCH. THE OPEN INTERIOR HOUSED BUNKS FOR SIXTY-FOUR SOLDIERS
WITH A SINGLE GUN RACK IN THE CENTER OF THE OPEN BAY. THE COMPANY
BARRACKS FACED THE OFFICERS’ QUARTERS TO THE WEST ACROSS THE PARADE
TODAY THIS BUILDING IS THE BEST SURVIVING EXAMPLE OF ITS KIND AT FORT
CLARK, AND ONE OF A HANDFUL OF INDIAN WARS PERIOD BARRACKS LEFT ON
ANY POST IN THE NATION.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker ( 2-3-4 Colony Row, Brackettville,
Officers Quarters 2-3 and 4
These two buildings date from 1854-55, soon after the U.S. Army established
Fort Clark. The antebellum fort then included officers quarters and
barracks for enlisted men, as well as a two-story quartermaster storehouse,
powder magazine, hospital, guardhouse and post headquarters around
a parade ground. During this period, such notable army officers as
John Bell Hood, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee and James Longstreet served
here and likely lived in these quarters.
Horizontal logs and vertical posts were notched and interlocked to
create these buildings. Limestone chimneys are also historic. The
army closed the fort in 1944, by which time the buildings were clad
in lath and plaster and wood siding.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2007
Marker (8 Colony Row, Brackettville,
Officers' Quarters 8-9
This single-story duplex once served as housing for married officers
and their families at Fort Clark. The U.S. Army fort, established
in 1852 to defend the western frontier of Texas and the border with
Mexico, saw significant growth in the 1870s. To accommodate a regimental
size garrison, the Army constructed living quarters such as this particular
Built by 1875 out of uncoursed, rough-cut limestone, the building
features a cross-hipped roof, interior chimneys with double fireplaces
and a distinctive U-shape. The fort closed in 1944 and later owners
transformed the quarters into a single family home.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2006
Marker (Colony Row Road between Nos. 8, 9 and 10, Ft. Clark Springs,
Fort Clark was established as a U.S. Army garrison in 1852. The original
quarters were crude log huts and houses of palisade construction.
In 1857, a new program began to replace badly dilapidated structures
with buildings of quarried stone. Designed and constructed in 1873-74
as duplexes to accommodate two officers' families each, these eight
residences closely resemble those built on other military posts during
that time period. The buildings reflect an evolutionary adaptation
of military design suited to local construction materials and the
regional climate. Each duplex has three large rooms on each floor,
two fireplaces and a fifty-five foot front porch. An 1885 remodeling
project changed the houses from rectangular to T-plan. The army contracted
with Central Power and Light Company for electricity in 1918. Fort
Clark was deactivated in 1946 and sold to the Brown and Root Corporation.
In 1971, the fort property became "Fort Clark Springs", a private
recreational community. The officers' houses were rented to members
and guests until 1974, when they were offered for sale to members
of the Fort Clark Springs Association.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991
Marker (20 Colony Row, Fort Clark Springs, Brackettville,
Quarters (Quarters # 20)
Erected during the 1873-1875 expansion of Fort Clark to accommodate
and support an entire regiment, this structure differs from other
quarters on the line in that it is a single dwelling rather than a
duplex. The Fifth Regiment of the U. S. Cavalry was garrisoned here
from 1921 to 1941 and during that time the regimental adjutant, who
performed essential clerical duties for the regimental commander,
lived within these walls.
The core of this building is a three-room hall and parlor plan composed
of adobe, featuring a symmetrical front and stone chimney at each
end. Additions were made in 1904 and 1944.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1999
Marker (Colony Row between quarters Nos. 22 and 25, Ft. Clark Springs,
The U.S. Army built nine stone officers' quarters at Fort Clark beginning
in 1873. The need soon arose for additional housing for senior staff
officers, and this building was constructed in 1888. Built in a T-plan,
the two-story stone duplex features a full width front porch and is
a good example of military standard housing adapted to the materials
and climate of the region. Among the house's residents was General
George S. Patton.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990
Marker (No. 29 Colony Row, Ft. Clark Springs, Brackettville,
Fort Clark was established as a U.S. Army garrison in June 1852. Nine
structures designed by U.S. Army engineers were built in 1873-1874
to house the fort's officers. This house served the fort's commanding
officers, including Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie and Gen. Jonathan M.
Architectural features include a central entry, wood-frame porch,
six-over-six windows, second floor dormers, and four large chimneys
with sculpted caps.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1963
Marker ( 202 McClain Road, Brackettville,
Army Signal Corps Building
This building served as the communications center for Fort Clark from
1932-1944. The Building is of tile brick construction with a veneer
of irregular cut field stone. The original footprint was enlarged
c. 1940 to accommodate barracks for enlisted soldiers. During World
War II mobilization, the 3rd Signal Troop of the 2nd Cavalry Division
and the Signal Detachment of the 1855th Service Company shared this
building and maintained the post telephone system, Army training film
library, post photo lab, and other essential equipment. The Signal
Corps detachment were the last troops to leave Fort Clark when it
was closed on August 28, 1944.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 2008
Marker (Local road, 2 miles S of US 90 in Fort Clark Springs, Brackettville,
Scout Camp on Fort Clark
Under Spanish rule, Florida was a haven for freed or escaped slaves
in the 1700s. Once there, many integrated into the Seminole tribe,
intermarrying and adapting to the culture. Florida became a U.S. territory
in 1821, and after approximately 30 years of warfare, the majority
of the Seminoles were forced to relocate to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
Tribal leaders Coacoochee (Wild Cat) and John Horse gathered a group
of Seminoles in 1850 and left the Indian Territory for Mexico. There,
under an agreement with the Mexican government, they Settled and fought
against raiding tribes along the Rio Grande. In 1870, the U.S. Army
offered the group pay and rations to move to Fort Clark, established
in 1852 to protect settlers along the border.
The black Seminoles became scouts for the Army, serving under Lt.
John L. Bullis and other noted officers during Texas' Indian wars.
The Seminole-Negro Indian scouts, as they were known, lived on the
fort in a settlement referred to as "the camp." They built homes in
the Mexican jacal style, using wattle and daub construction and thatched
roofs. The scouts and their families also built dams and irrigation
systems along Las Moras Creek for farming.
The Seminoles lived on the fort until 1914, when the scouts were disbanded.
Some returned to Mexico, many stayed in the Brackettville area and
some moved to Oklahoma, where the Seminole nation was granted sovereignty.
Still others remained, buried in the scouts' cemetery (1.5 mi. Sw),
which was established in 1872. Among those buried there are four scouts
who earned Congressional medals of honor: Adam Payne (Paine), Isaac
Payne, John Ward and Pompey Factor.
[See Buffalo Soldiers
by Jeffery Robenalt]
[See Texas Black History]
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact