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CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT

CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT. The temporary post established by Zachary Taylor in 1845 at Corpus Christi was designated Fort Marcy, for Secretary of War William Marcy. The name was seldom used, and it fell into complete disuse when another Fort Marcy was founded in New Mexico Territory; the Texas site was usually called Corpus Christi instead. In September 1852 Gen. Persifor F. Smith announced his intention to move United States Army headquarters in Texas from San Antonio to Corpus Christi on December 1 of that year. The post at Corpus Christi had a garrison of 150 to 200 men between the end of the Mexican War and Smith's decision. The place was chosen largely because Smith had been ill from the day he arrived in San Antonio, and he found the climate and food in Corpus Christi more healthful; he was said to have particularly liked the local oysters. There were complaints about the location from some of his subordinates, especially the quartermaster, who found San Antonio more central to the forts the depot was to supply. Smith also sought to establish an army general hospital at Corpus Christi on land offered by Col. Henry L. Kinney, but his design was frustrated by a conflict between Senator Sam Houston and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Smith was transferred to Leavenworth, Kansas, and died in the spring of 1858. In 1856 Col. J. K. F. Mansfield, inspector general of the United States Army, pointed out the disadvantages of Corpus Christi as a supply depot for such distant forts as Fort Bliss, Fort Mason, and Fort Worth. The depot was closed in January of 1852 but regarrisoned in 1869–70 and again in 1880–81. The present Corpus Christi Army Depot was activated in 1961 on the site of the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station and is the army's main helicopter overhaul and repair facility. By the late 1980s it was the largest single employer in South Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

M. L. Crimmins, ed., "Colonel J. K. F. Mansfield's Report of the Inspection of the Department of Texas in 1856," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 42 (October 1938, January, April 1939). Francis Paul Prucha, A Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789–1895 (Madison: State Historical Association of Wisconsin, 1964).

Frank Wagner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Frank Wagner, "CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eqc23), accessed November 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.