New fort anchors Texas line of frontier defense
On this day in 1851, Fort Belknap was established in what is now Young County, in north central Texas. Since the chosen site lacked water, the fort was moved two miles to its present location beside the Brazos River. Fort Belknap was a four-company post. Companies from the Fifth and Seventh U.S. Infantry, Second U.S. Dragoons, and Second and Sixth U.S. Cavalry served there at various times. Belknap was the northern anchor of the chain of forts protecting the Texas frontier from the Red River to the Rio Grande. It became the hub of a network of roads, the most notable being the Butterfield Stage route from St. Louis to San Francisco. The fort was abandoned in September 1867. Some of the buildings have been restored to form a recreational and cultural center that hosts more than 30,000 visitors annually.