Southwestern Historical Quarterly
FORT McKAVETT, TEXAS
COLONEL M. L. CRIMMINs
Fort McKlavett was established March 14, 1852, as Camp San
Saba in what is now the western part of Menard County and 22
miles west of Menard. The reservation covered about 2,373 acres.
It was situated on an elevation near the right bank of the San Saba
River about two miles from its source in the latitude 30 50' North
and longitude 100 and 20' West. The altitude is about 2,060
feet and is on the rolling surface of the Edward's Plateau. The
limestone soil produces what is said to be the best grass in Texas
for horses. Menard County produces in addition to horses, cattle,
sheep and goats, about 2,000 bales of cotton each year.
Bvt. Lieutenant-Colonel W. G. Freeman, Assistant Adjutant
General, inspected this post on August 19, 1853. Ie reported
that the San Saba River arises from a spring on the western side
of a hill about two miles away, and interposing is a large lagoon.
The post was built about 300 yards from the lagoon and 500 from
the river and about 100 feet above it. At that time the owner of
the land was not known, but there were several claimants. The
government paid a man named Robinson for the lease. Within
thirty miles of the post all the material required for rafters, joists,
plates, sills, and shingles were procured from the oak and pecan
trees. The pecan boards would warp and when dry it was not
possible to drive a hand-wrought iron nail through them, so holes
were bored in the planks. The nearest post office at that time was
at San Antonio, 164 miles to the Southeast, and the weekly mail
was received via Fort Mason and Martin Scott.
There were three Indian bands belonging to the Comanche tribe
within a circuit of 100 miles. Although they frequented the post
it was hard to estimate their number. The San-a-co's band re-
sided on the Concho and the headwaters of the Colorado; Buffalo
I-ump's Band lived along the Colorado, and a band under Ketumseh
and Yellow Wolf ranged between the San Saba and Colorado
Rivers. A small party of Tonkaways had come over from the
Brazos River and were camped near Fort McKavett. They
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/. Accessed May 1, 2016.