Fort Clark Festival

For more information and pictures about Texas

Fort Clark, Texas is located in Brackettville, Texas. It was established June 20th, 1852 at Los Moras Springs, located at the head of Los Moras Creek, it was a site long favored by the indigenous Coahuiltecan Indians and later by the Apache, Comanche and other Indian tribes. In 1849 it was recognized as a practical route between San Antonio and El Paso and was to become an ideal site for a fort.
Contact: Mary Francis Partlow
800 937 1590
830 563 9608
For more historical information, visit the Fort Clark Historical Society Web Site at:


Fort Clark Festival Activities

Friday Night, March 11

5 pm--Carnival in Rendezvous Park

5 pm--Beer Booth and Soda Booth will be open. On the Porch

6 pm--Food Venders will be set up in front of the Museum

Chicken on a Stick

Cajun Chicken

Blooming Onions

Funnel Cake


Hot Dogs

Cheese Cake on a stick dipped in Chocolate

Designer Coffee

8 pm--Dance-Sponsor: Brackettville Rotary Club

Music by Mike McCarson and his group of compadres

Ticket Price: to be announced

Location: Street Dance In Front of the Museum

Saturday, March 12

Museum Area

8:30 am--5K Run/Walk--Sponsor: Val Verde Hospital

9:30 am--Fun Run/Walk-4 yr. to 12: yr. olds

Races start at the Museum parking lot with a Cannon blast

Historic Fort Clark Area

8 am--Token Booths Sponsor: IBC Bank

8 am--Food-Sponsor: Festival Committee

Three (3) locations

Service Club-Lopez Bakery and Tacos Mexican Food

Commissary-Seminole Bar-B-Q

Museum-Food Venders and Dessert Wagon

8 am--Beer, Sodas. Water, Snack, Souvenir Booth--2 locations

2005 Discount Button OR Discount Beverage Koozie Honored

9 am--Arts & Crafts Show-sponsor: Knights of Columbus

Commissary & Seminole Hall

9 am--Open Car Show-sponsor: Lucky Eagle Kickapoo Casino

Cars Motorcycles Bicycles

At the Service Club Parking Lot

9 am--Motorcycle Rally-sponsor: Southern Cruisers Riding Club

Poker Run--scenic Hill Country

Vender Run--Fort Compound

10 am--Music & Entertainment-sponsor: Festival Committee

All day on four (4) stages:

Service Club

Butcher Block

Red Garter Saloon

Seminole Hall-Bad Land Rangers

The River Pickers-playing Dulcimers

Rick and The Texas Rustlers-Band

Badland Rangers-Texas Rangers Re-enactor

The Borderline Singers-Band

Fire on the Mountain-Cloggers:

The Cadence Cloggers

Tall Texas Tails-Stories

Golden Girls Line Dancers

Parade of Historical Costumes-Judging Event

And more And more

18 Hole Golf Course

8 am-Golf Tournament-sponsor: Brackettville Rotary Club

Shafter Hall

10 am--Bake Sale-sponsor: Ft. Clark Springs Community Council

All Homemade Baked Goods

10 am--Wood Carvers Club

1 pm--cake Walk Sponsor: Longhorn Cheerleaders

Palisado Building

10 am-Living History

10 am & 11 am, 1 pm - 4 pm - every dour

Tour of Fort Clark Historic District

Sponsor: Fort Clark Springs Historical Society

Rendezvous Park

All Day--Carnival in Rendezvous Park

Discount Buttons and Beverage Insulator Koozies

give the bearer 50 cent discount on beer, sodas,

snacks, candy, souvenirs.

Contact Information

Contact person: Mary Francis Partlow

800 937 1590

830 563 9608


History of Fort Clark and Surrounding Areas

Fort Clark was established June 20, 1852 at Las Moras Springs by two companies of the First Infantry under the command of Major Joseph H. LaMotte along with an advance and rear guard of U.S. Mounted Rifles (later the 3rd Cavalry). Located at the headwaters of Las Moras Creek, the spring, named "The Mulberries" by Spanish explorers was a site long favored as camp grounds for Comanche, Mescalero, Lipan, and other Indians.

During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the big spring was a stopping place on the eastern branch of the great Comanche War Trail into Mexico. The original site was s trip of 1 to 2 miles in width extending from Las Moras Springs downstream about eight miles.

In 1849 Lieutenant W.H.C. Whiting, during his reconnaissance for a practicable route between San Antonio and El Paso, recongnized its military potential and recommended the location as a site for a fort. The land was leased from S.A. Maverick. Two Companies (C and E) of the First Infantry encamped near the Springs. Later, the garrison was moved up the hill from the Spring. By 1853 quarters for the soldiers were nearly completed and in 1854 three grass-covered officers' quarters were built. In 1855 a stone hospital and a two-story storehouse were erected.

The Post was originally named Fort Filey in honor of the commanding officer of the First Infantry, but on July 15, 1852, at Riley's request, it was named in honor of Major John B Clark, a deceased officer who had served in the Mexican War. A formal military lease for Fort Clark was made on July 30, 1852, by Lt. Col. D.C. Tompkins. With the onset of the Civil War and the secession of Texas, the Federal soldiers left Fort Clark, March 19, 1861 and returned December 12, 1866. Until August 1862 the Fort was occupied by the Second Texas Mounted Rifles. It later served as a supply depot and a hospital for Confederate troops and civilians in surrounding areas. With the establishment of Fort Clark, a neighboring settlement of Las Moras came into existence when Oscar B Brackett established a supply village for the Fort. The town's name was changed to Brackett in 1856, and later to Brackettville. The stage ran through the settlement and for almost a century the town and the Fort remained closely identified.

Fort Clark is perhaps most famous as the home for the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. After twenty years of protecting Mexico's northern states from hostile Indians for the Mexican Army, they came to Fort Duncan in 1872 and to Fort Clark to serve the Army as scouts. The Indian Scouts served at Fort Clark from 1872 until 1914. Lt. John L. Bullis, later a general, served as their commander from 1873-1881. Fort Clark is also noted as the headquarters for Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie's raiders. He led raids into Mexico to punish renegade Indians, playing a decisive role in bringing to an end the Indian depredations in Texas. Comanches on horseback swept down from north on moonlit nights, raiding, killing, taking horses, mules and cattle, escaping across the Rio Grande into Mexico. Lipans and Kickapoos from Mexico slipped across the border into Texas, destroying, stealing, murdering, and returning quickly to safety. Outlaws of every nationality fled from one side of the border to safety on the other side. Hundreds of pioneers were forced to abandon their homesteads.

On May 17, 1873 Mackenzie, accompanied by Lt. Bullis and the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, led troops of the 4th U.S. Cavalry into Mexico on a punitive expedition against the Lipans. Other sorties followed. Again in 1878, Mackenzie was recalled to Fort Clark to stop the Kickapoos's was on Texas. Mackenzie with Bullis and Seminole Scouts and a large peace-time army crossed the border to effectively stop the Mexican Army and end the Mexican-Indian hostilities forever. The last Indian depredation in the Military district of the Nueces was in 1881. Many infantry units and virtually all cavalry units, including the 9th and 10th Black "Buffalo Soldiers", were stationed at Fort Clark at various times. During the Spanish-American War, Fort Clark was garrisoned by the Third Texas Infantry. With the Indian Wars at an end, the Fort was threatened with closure, but turmoil along the border due to the Mexican Revolution revitalized the military need for the Fort, as did the First World War, which soon followed. In 1941, the 5th Cavalry was transferred to Fort Bliss and Fort Clark was then manned by the 112th Cavalry, Texas National Guard Unit, until their deployment for combat duties in the Pacific. Later, more than 12,000 troops of the second Cavalry Division trained at Fort Clark until their deployment in February 1944. The war also added another feature to the history of Fort Clark, that of having a German POW sub camp on the 4,000 acre reservation.

By the end of World War I, the technological advancement of modern arms signaled the obsolescence of the horse cavalry. Yet it was not until June 1944, that full mechanization of the cavalry caused the government to close Fort Clark, one of the last horse-cavalry posts in the country. The Fort was officially deactivated in early 1946, and later that year was sold to Brown and Root Company for salvage and later used as a guest ranch. In 1971, the Fort was purchased by a private corporation and developed into a private recreation community.

Today Fort Clark encompasses about 2700 acres. The spring feeds Las Moras creek and a dam also feeds the water into a very large swimming pool with a year-round temperature of 68 degrees. Below the dam, fishermen, bird watchers, hikers, picnickers, and campers enjoy the beautifully wooded Las Moras Creek banks. The Historic District of the Fort remains much as it was planned and built I n the 1800's. The history is displayed by six dioramas created by members of the Fort Clark Arts of the Old Fort Clark Guardhouse Museum maintained by the Fort Clark Historical Society. Visitors at the museum are welcomed by volunteer hosts and hostesses. In 1979, Fort Clark was entered on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fort Clark is truly a fort closure that became a success story, and is

"Living History Today".



For more information and pictures about Texas