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Fort Inge (1849-1869) - On 13 Mar 1849, Capt. Seth Eastman and fifty-six soldiers of companies D and I, 1st U.S. Infantry, established Camp Leona on the Leona River, four miles above Woll's Crossing. In December 1849 the post was renamed Fort Inge in honor of Lt. Zebulon M. P. Inge, 2nd U.S. Dragoons, a West Point officer killed in the Mexican War.
Fort Inge History
The fort was one of 8 established after the Mexican War along the then western frontier. These forts were built under the command of Gen. George Mercer Brooke and served to establish Federal authority along the frontier. The forts were Fort Inge (1849-1869), Fort Lincoln (1) (1849-1852), Fort Martin Scott (1848-1866), Fort Croghan (1) (1849–1855), Fort Gates (1849-1852), Fort Graham (1849-1853), and Fort Worth (1849-1853).
The missions of the soldiers included security patrols for the construction of the San Antonio-El Paso Military Road, escorts for supply trains and mail, protection for frontier settlements from bandits and Indian raiders, and guarding the international boundary with Mexico. The fort was a typical one-company, fifty-man post for most of its history. For a brief period in 1854 it was the regimental headquarters for the United States Mounted Rifle Regiment with a garrison of 200.
Fort Inge had about a dozen buildings arranged around the rectangular parade ground with a semi-enclosed stable at the north end of the post. The most substantial building was constructed of cut limestone and was used as a hospital and later as a storehouse. Most structures were of jacal construction-upright log pickets plastered with mud and whitewashed. A low, dry-stacked stone wall was built around the fort during or after the U.S. Civil War.
Fort Inge was closed on 19 Mar 1869, and the garrison sent to Fort McKavett. In 1871 troops recovered the timber and stone to be used in construction at Fort Clark (1). The site was used as a camp by the Texas Rangers until 1884.
In 1961 the site became Fort Inge Historical Site County Park and on 14 Mar 1986 it was dedicated as Fort Inge Uvalde County Park. The fort site is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 8pm and has a $2.00 fee per adult and $1 fee for children a locked ranch gate bars entry during the week. The site has numerous interpretive signs but they are directly exposed to the sun and are in poor condition and difficult to read and photograph. Horses roam the site during the week and you need to watch your step. You can view portions of the low rock wall that once surrounded the fort and foundations of several buildings. Inge Mountain is a prominent landmark and has a flag flying on in in the approximate location shown in the drawing above. A modern flagpole was first installed on Inge Mountain 11 Aug 1961 and reinstalled and dedicated 3 Oct 1998. A bronze marker commemorates the Fort Inge Flagpole installations.
Location: On the east bank of the Leona River a mile south of Uvalde off Ranch Road 140 in Uvalde County, Texas.
Maps & Images
Lat: 29.178806 Long: -99.765902
Visited: 2 Oct 2008
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