Fort Martin Scott
Fort Martin Scott
Restored officer quarters at Fort Martin Scott
|Location||Gillespie County, Texas, USA|
|Nearest city||Fredericksburg, Texas|
|Area||23 acres (9.3 ha)|
|Governing body||Gillespie County Historical Society|
|NRHP Reference #||80004121|
|Added to NRHP||January 20, 1980|
Fort Martin Scott is a restored United States Army outpost near Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, United States, that was active from December 5, 1848 until April, 1853. It was part of a line of frontier forts established to protect travelers and settlers within Texas.
A line of seven army posts were established in 1848-49 after the Mexican War to protect the settlers of West Texas and included Fort Worth, Fort Graham, Fort Gates, Fort Croghan, Fort Martin Scott, Fort Lincoln and Fort Duncan.
The fort was originally established as Camp Houston on December 5, 1848, and quartered Companies D and H, First United States Infantry. It was located two miles (3 km) southeast of Fredericksburg on Baron's Creek and eventually consisted of a complex of twenty-one buildings. The soldiers patrolled the Fredericksburg-San Antonio road and surrounding area. One mission of the outpost was to protect settlers from Indian depredations.
The Eighth Military Department renamed the camp in December 1849 for Major Martin Scott, who was killed at the Battle of Molino del Rey in the Mexican War in 1847. The forces stationed at the fort began alternating between a company of infantry and one of dragoons. As the settlers pushed farther west, Fort Martin Scott lost its strategic significance. In 1853, Army inspectors recommended that the fort be closed. The Eighth Military Department ordered that Fort Martin Scott close in December 1853.
The full text of this treaty can be found at Meusebach–Comanche Treaty.
On May 9, 1847, prior to the establishment of Fort Martin Scott, an expedition under John O. Meusebach negotiated the non-government Treaty Between the Comanche and the German Immigration Company. The treaty was limited to the specific area between the Llano River and the San Saba River, and only addressed the relations between the Penateka Comanche and the immigrants who came under the aegis of the German Immigration Company.
Fort Martin Scott treaty
The full text of the treaty can be found at Fort Martin Scott Treaty.
The Fort Martin Scott Treaty was an unratified treaty, negotiated and signed on December 10, 1850 by Indian agent John Rollins, U. S. Army Captain Hamilton W. Merrill, Captain J.B. McGown of the Texas Mounted Volunteers (Texas Rangers), interpreters John Connor and Jesse Chisholm, as well as twelve Comanche chiefs, six Caddo chiefs, four Lipan chiefs, five Quapaw chiefs, four Tawakoni chiefs, and four Waco chiefs. The treaty was actually signed in San Saba County but named for the nearest military outpost. On December 25, 1850, General George M. Brooke sent a copy of the treaty to Texas Governor Peter Hansborough Bell, mentioning the treaty had not been approved by the government and was essentially binding only on the part of the Indian tribes.
This treaty put the signed tribes under the sole jurisdiction of the United States of America. It regulated commerce and prohibited supplying alcoholic beverages to the tribes. The tribes were required to remain at peace with each other and the United States government, and to be at peace with other tribes the government deemed at peace. The tribes were to return all stolen property and captives and to cease depredations. The government made it tribal responsibility to report any suspected activity that might violate the treaty, and to assist the government in recovering runaway slaves. In return, the government would establish trading posts and give the tribes blacksmiths and school teachers. The treaty also required the tribes to allow Christian preachers to minister to them, and to allow said preachers unrestrained travel through tribal territory.
Post Infantry years
The site was occupied intermittently by the Texas Rangers and then the Confederate States Army. In September 1866, General Philip H. Sheridan ordered elements of the Fourth United States Cavalry to Fort Martin Scott to secure the frontier once again from possible Indian attacks. By the end of 1866, the fort was permanently abandoned by military units. Many of the Martin Scott commanders fought in the American Civil War, including William R. Montgomery, William Steele, Edward D. Blake, James Longstreet, and Theodore Fink.
In the early 1880s, the fort was the location of the Gillespie County Fair. Owned from 1870–1959 by members of the Braeutigam family, Martin Scott was sold to the City of Fredericksburg in 1959. In 1986, the Fredericksburg Heritage Federation began extensive work of reconstructing the site as a tourist attraction.
Johann Wolfgang Braeutigam (1829–1884) emigrated with his family from Kaltenlengsfeld, Germany and arrived at Indianola on Dec 1845. Johann, his wife Christine and their nine children eventually settled in Fredericksburg. In 1870, the family moved into the abandoned Fort Martin Scott, from which Braeutigam operated a biergarten. On September 3, 1884, Braeutigam was murdered by four strangers in a robbery of the biergarten's cash box.
The city of Fredericksburg bought the Fort Martin Scott property from the Braeutigam family. Among highlights of the fort are the post commander’s quarters (formerly Braeutigam Garden), six buildings of officers’ housing, sutler’s store and warehouse, laundry, bakehouse with oven, military hospital, three sets of enlisted men’s barracks, quartermaster’s warehouse, a stable with barn, and a blacksmith shop. The guardhouse, made of cut limestone, is the only surviving building from the original fort, having been restored to its original design in the early 1990s. It was the Braeutigam’s homestead.
Fort Martin Scott was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1936, Marker number 10039, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in Texas on January 20, 1980. The fort is operated by the city of Fredericksburg and offers self-guided walking tours, pre-scheduled guided tours and school tours. Located at 1606 East Main Street (Highway 290), the site is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations.
As of October 8, 2010, the Former Texas Rangers Association is moving forward with a plan approved by the Fredericksburg City Council to build a 41,350-square-foot (3,842 m2) Texas Rangers Heritage Center adjacent to Fort Martin Scott. The plans are for an educational complex that will focus on the heritage of not only the Texas Rangers but also Fort Martin Scott and Gillespie County. Scheduled ground breaking on the multi-million dollar center is for October 2011.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Crimmins, M.L., 1943, The First Line of Army Posts Established in West Texas in 1849, Abilene: West Texas Historical Association, Vol. XIX, pp. 121-127
- Brooks Jr., Paul R M. "Fort Martin Scott". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Frost, John (2010) . Life of Major General Zachary Taylor; With Notices of the War in New Mexico, California and in Southern Mexico. General Books LLC. pp. 323–324. ISBN 978-0-217-23467-2.
- Marshall King, Irene (1967). John O. Meusebach, German Colonizer in Texas. University of Texas. p. Unnumbered plate following p. 66. ISBN 978-0-292-73656-6.
- Demallie, Raymond J; Deloria, Vine (1999). Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements and Conventions 1775–1979, Vol 1. University of Oklahoma. pp. 1493–1494. ISBN 0-8061-3118-7.
- Webb, Walter Prescott (1965). The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense. University of Texas Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-292-78110-8.
- Brochure, Fort Martin Scott, Fredericksburg, Texas
- Van Winkle, Irene. "Braeutigam-Kensing Tales Rife with Woe". West Kerr Current. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Site of Fort Martin Scott". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Red Stegall Introduces the Texas Rangers History and Education Center". Former Texas Rangers. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Fredericksburg backs proposed Texas Ranger Heritage Center". My San Antonio. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Texas Rangers Heritage Center". Former Texas Rangers Foundation. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort Martin Scott.|
- Fort Martin Scott - official site
- Fort Martin Scott from the Handbook of Texas Online
- photos of the restored buildings