Camp Collier

By: Robert Dunman

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 16, 2009

Camp Collier, located at Vaughan's Springs on Clear Creek in southwestern Brown County, was one of eighteen frontier posts established in March 1862 by Col. James M. Norris who on January 29, 1862, had assumed command of a new frontier regiment of rangers, now called the Frontier Regiment commissioned by the Ninth Texas Legislature on December 21, 1861. The purpose of the legislative act was to protect the northern and western frontiers of Texas from Comanche and Kiowa Indian raids that were devastating frontier settlements in 1861. The Indian raiders were taking full advantage of the absence of many young men of fighting age that had been drawn out of the settlements at that time and into the Civil War.

The eighteen settlements, commanded by nine ranger captains in the regiment, were intended to provide a cordon of protection on a line running from the Red River in North Texas to the Rio Grande at what is now Eagle Pass. Each ranger captain commanded two posts, one named for him and one for the locale of the camp or for some feature of the locale. Camp Collier was named for Captain Frank M. Collier, who assumed command of Camp Collier, and Camp Pecan was located further north on Pecan Bayou in Callahan County, in late March of 1862. Captain Collier resigned in July of 1862 due to a back injury. Company elections were held on July 25, 1862, at both Camp Collier and Camp Pecan, and Sergeant Maj. James Joseph Callan was elevated to the rank of captain.

Camp Collier served as the summer regimental headquarters for the Frontier Regiment from June 1862 to late October 1862. In April 1862 Captain Callan, representing the state-sponsored Frontier Regiment, relieved Confederate Captain James M. Holmsley of the command at Camp Colorado, a well-established, former Union fort located between Camp Collier and Camp Pecan. Holmsley's unit had been ordered redeployed. On October 27, 1862, Colonel Norris moved his regimental headquarters to Camp Colorado and ordered Captain Callan to remove all equipment from Camp Collier and Camp Pecan and to consolidate both halves of his company at Camp Colorado. Camp Colorado remained the headquarters for the Frontier Regiment until its incorporation into the Confederate Army on March 1, 1864.

No trace of Camp Collier remains today. A historical marker erected in 1963 on the Brown County courthouse square in Brownwood commemorates its location some thirteen miles to the southwest.

Adjutant General’s Records, Texas State Library and Archives, Austin, Special Order #12, Texas Adjutant General, January 29, 1862; Special Order #7, Col. J.M. Norris to Capt. F.M. Collier, March 25, 1862; General Order #4, Col. Norris, April 23, 1862; Capt. Frank M. Collier to Adjutant General, July 2, 1862; Special Orders 53 and 54, Col. Norris, July 22, 1862; Capt. J.J. Callan to Adjutant General, August 8, 1862; Special Order #96, Col. Norris to Capt. Callan, October 27, 1862; Adjutant General's correspondence files, 1862–64; and General Orders, Special Orders, and correspondence files, Frontier Regiment, 1862–64. Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Texas Legislature, Act of December 21, 1861.

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

Robert Dunman, “Camp Collier,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 16, 2009