Camp Breckenridge


By: Charles G. Davis

Revised by: William V. Scott

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: March 31, 2022


Camp Breckenridge was on Gunsolus (now Gonzales) Creek six miles above its confluence with Hubbard Creek, near Crystal Falls in northern Stephens County, near the site of the present city of Breckenridge. The camp was established as a ranger station for the Frontier Regiment as part of a new defensive line that was comprised of eighteen camps, which were set up a day’s ride apart from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Camp Breckenridge was established by Col. James M. Norris with half of Capt. John A. Salmon's Company C of the Frontier Regiment on March 21, 1862. Salmon's company, which was organized in February 1862 with slightly more than 100 men, maintained Camp Salmon in northeastern Callahan County and Camp Breckenridge as a deterrent against American Indian aggression. However, Capt. Robert M. Whiteside, who commanded Company H of the Frontier Regiment at Breckenridge in 1863, stated that the only service satisfactorily rendered was to carry the mail, because "the patrol keeps our horses poor and when we find Indians they can outrun us." Beset by inadequate supplies, low morale, and frequent changing of officers, the camp supplied little real service. A report late in 1863 found only twenty-six out of fifty-four men who should have been in camp: one had been killed, four were absent without leave, and the rest were either sick, on patrol, or hunting for lost horses. Rangers and soldiers stationed at Camp Breckenridge under Col. James E. McCord carried out the duties that also included rounding up deserters and draft evaders. These Confederates were poorly fed and clothed and lacked ammunition and horses. The men stationed at Camp Breckenridge were not always supported by the locals; some of this disloyalty was seen in citizens not selling provisions for Confederate script. The entire Frontier Regiment was mustered into regular Confederate service in the last year of the Civil War. Camp Breckenridge was abandoned in 1864, when the Frontier Regiment operated out of Fort Belknap. The camp was used briefly during Reconstruction by area settlers who took refuge there against Comanche and Kiowa raids.

James K. Greer, ed., Buck Barry: Texas Ranger and Frontiersman (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). Loy W. Hartsfield, A History of Stephens County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1929). Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. William Curry Holden, "Frontier Defense in Texas during the Civil War," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 4 (1928). Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1988).

Categories:
  • Military
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Charles G. Davis Revised by William V. Scott, “Camp Breckenridge,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/camp-breckenridge.

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1952
March 31, 2022

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