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Fort McKavett (1852-1859)(1868-1883) - A U.S. Army post established by five companies of the 8th U.S. Infantry in March of 1852 to protect frontier settlers and travelers on Upper El Paso Road. First known as Camp San Saba, the camp was later renamed for Captain Henry McKavett, killed at the battle of Monterey on 21 Sep 1846. The fort was abandoned in March 1859 and reoccupied April 1868. Finally abandoned in 1883.
Fort McKavett History
Much of the post was in ruins when Fort McKavett reopened in 1868, and the troops lived in tents for the next year or two while the facilities were rebuilt under the command of General Ranald S. Mackenzie. The completed fort had four barracks, twelve officers' quarters, a magazine, a hospital, a guardhouse, a bakery, two storehouses, a post office, three stables, a headquarters building, a forage house, and a thirty-acre garden. Supplies for the fort were hauled by wagon from San Antonio.
First Sergeant Emanuel Stance of the 9th U.S. Cavalry, stationed at Fort McKavett in 1868, was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor in the Indian Wars. By the close of the Indian Wars, ten more Medals of Honor were awarded to Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th U.S. Cavalry.
By 1880, the fort was no longer needed and it was abandoned 30 Jun 1883.
Fort McKavett was once called by General William T. Sherman "the prettiest post in Texas."
Fort McKavett State Historical Park opened in 1968, and many of the buildings were acquired by the state and restored. Must see.
Location: The park is located 23 miles west of Menard in Menard County, Texas. Take US Highway 190 west of Menard for 17 miles, then go south on FM 864 for 6 miles to the park.
Maps & Images
Lat: 30.82918 Long: -100.10407
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 768
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 164
- M. L. Crimmins, Fort McKavett, Texas, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 38, July 1934
- Menard County Historical Society, Menard County History-An Anthology, San Angelo: Anchor, 1982
- Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin
Visited: 9 Nov 2009
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