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Army Days

What do camels, the army, and a 1950s television series have in common? Learn more about the history of Fort Clark.

In the 1850s, a line of U.S. Cavalry posts was built along the southwest border region of the United States to guard the border and protect the transportation routes from native peoples. Fort Clark, built in 1852 in the nearby town of Brackettville, still stands.  George Patton and Jonathan Wainwright both served there. The fort was also used as the headquarters for MacKenzie’s raiders, popularized by a television series in the 1950s. An outpost of Fort Clark was built along San Felipe Springs in 1857, near what is now Moore Park. It was named "Camp Del Rio" in 1881, and existed into the early part of the 20th Century.

During the late 1850s, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, attempting to find an animal more suited to the terrain than the horse, imported a number of camels from North Africa to Indianola, Texas. The U.S. Army Camel Corps did not last very long, but San Felipe Springs was designated as the official watering hole during the camels' westward move from Camp Verde in the Texas Hill Country. San Felipe Springs also served as a watering stop on the San Antonio to San Diego Stagecoach Trail.


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