The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 362
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Although Fort Worth began life as a humble outpost in 1849, its
founders no doubt believed that it would be the site of an armed garri-
son for some time to come because it was part of a major defensive line
guarding the frontier.
The confusion in names derives from the fact that there was a Camp
Worth in Texas at the same time, and closely connected to the outpost
on the Trinity. Both were named for the hero of the Mexican War who
was ordered to Texas in 1848 to help secure the state's long and porous
western frontier. Camp Worth was established on the outskirts of San
Antonio in February 1849 as the cantonment for the Eighth Infantry
Regiment, while the town itself became headquarters for the Eighth Mil-
itary Department, incorporating Texas and, for a time, New Mexico.
The officer for whom Fort Worth was named died of cholera three
months after coming to San Antonio. Just two weeks later Maj. Ripley
Arnold and Company F established a new outpost on the bluffs over the
Trinity River in north Texas, naming it Fort Worth. We know this be-
cause Simon Farrar, a civilian who was with Arnold at the time, stated in
a letter he wrote to a local historian many years later, "In honor of that
grand old hero [we] named the point Fort Worth."' Farrar was the only
man present that day who left a written record of the event.
Likewise, Major Arnold's first dispatch from the site, dated June 11,
1849, is datelined "Northern Frontier Texas, Fort Worth West Fork
Trinity River.2 All subsequent correspondence between the garrison on
the Trinity and regimental headquarters that survives in the National
Archives today is datelined Fort Worth.
The origins of the misunderstanding are to be found in a dispatch
sent out by Eighth Military Department headquarters on October 17,
1849. The culprit was Maj. George Deas, assistant adjutant general to
Maj. Gen. George M. Brooke, commanding. In a routine order to all
post commanders, Deas listed the "military stations on the North West-
ern Frontier of this Department," including "Camp Worth (West Fork of
the Trinity) [sic]."s
Farrar to Judge C. C. Cummings, Sept. 23, 1893, vertical files (Tarrant County Historical
Commission, Fort Worth; cited hereafter as TCHC).
2 Arnold to Maj. Gen. Thomas Jesup, Quartermaster General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.,
Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Letters Received, Record Group 92
(National Archives; cited hereafter as NA). A subsequent dispatch to the Adjutant General's
Office (Maj. Gen. Roger Jones), dated June 15, 1849, with the same address, is usually cited as
Arnold's first communication from his new post. However, the dispatch of June 11 to the
Quartermaster Department antedates it by four days.
' Orders No. 70o, George Deas, AAG, to all U.S. Army posts in Texas, Records of the Adjutant
General's Office, Orders and Special Orders, Eighth Military Dept., 1848-1850, Vol. 250,
Record Group 94 (NA).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/428/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.