Camp Neville Springs

By: Richard A. Thompson

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: November 4, 2017

The site of Camp Neville Springs is on Government Spring Road (also known as Grapevine Spring Road) 1¼ miles east of Grapevine Hills campgrounds #2 and #2 in Big Bend National Park. The camp, on the Comanche Trail, was established in the 1880s to protect the area from Apaches and bandits from Mexico. It was primarily occupied by a group of Black Seminole scouts who had enlisted for six months at Fort Clark. They were commanded by a lieutenant of cavalry or infantry from that post. Normally, the small scout command consisted of eighteen to twenty enlisted men and one officer. Two of the scout commanders were Lt. Woodbridge Geary, Nineteenth Infantry, and Lt. J. W. King, Eighth Cavalry. Every sixty days the scouts would return to Fort Clark to be paid and see their families, and the camp would be relieved by eight to ten enlisted soldiers, usually under a sergeant, to guard and protect the permanent structures and equipment. The eponymous spring is in a deep ravine surrounded by cottonwood trees. On top of the ravine and seventy-five feet from the spring is the foundation of a permanent barracks sixty feet long and twenty feet wide. A one-room stone house nearby was probably the officers' quarters; only the north wall and part of the south wall remain. Because this camp was permanent, many of the scouts from Camp Peña Colorado, seventy-five miles to the northeast, stayed overnight or to rest and eat. Camp Neville Springs is presumed to have been permanently closed in January 1883, when Camp Peña Colorado was abandoned. At that time all military personnel in the surrounding area were called in and transferred to other posts.

Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981).

Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas

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

Richard A. Thompson, “Camp Neville Springs,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994
November 4, 2017