Camp Bowie

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Camp Bowie, the principal encampment of the Army of the Republic of Texas from April 22 through the middle of June 1837, was located on the east side of the Navidad River at Red Bluff, one mile below Texana. The site is near Red Bluff Cemetery, eight miles southeast of the Jackson County community of Edna. The camp's first commander was Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, commanding general of the army. When Johnston left the republic for the United States on May 7, he was succeeded in command by Col. Joseph H. D. Rogers of the First Regiment, Permanent Volunteers, who was in turn replaced by Col. H. R. A. Wiggington, commander of the Second Regiment of Permanent Volunteers, early in June. Camp Bowie was named for Alamo defender James Bowie. It was the site of the murder, on the night of May 5, 1837, of Col. Henry Teal, following which President Sam Houston issued indefinite furloughs to almost all of the men of the dangerously undisciplined and mutinous army. In the latter part of May, Secretary of War William S. Fisher issued furloughs and travel orders to 1,200 troops, two-thirds of the army. By the third week in June the 200 men remaining at Camp Bowie had been transferred to Camp Crockett, and the post was abandoned.

Samuel E. Asbury, ed., "Extracts from the Reminiscences of General George W. Morgan," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 30 (January 1927). John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Louis Wiltz Kemp, ed., "The Joseph H. D. Rodgers Letters," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 55 (July, October 1951). Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969). Telegraph and Texas Register, May 30, 1837.
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Camp Bowie,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994