Camp Sabinal, on the west bank of the Sabinal River one mile west of Sabinal, was established by Capt. Albert G. Brackett on July 12, 1856, to provide protection for commercial traffic and travelers from San Antonio to El Paso. Among the people to settle nearby were John Kenedy, who built a store near the camp, Louis Peter, and Peter Rheiner, future father-in-law of Vice President John Nance Garner. Remnants of structures built by these settlers were still in evidence when the Texas Centennial Commission placed a marker at the site in 1936. By the summer of 1856 the Second United States Cavalry, commanded by Col. Albert S. Johnston and stationed at Fort Mason, was the lone mounted unit left in Texas. Johnston distributed the six companies under his command to different outposts along the Texas frontier; Company I was assigned to Camp Sabinal. The fort was occupied by United States troops until November 1856, and later served as a Texas Ranger camp. The Second Cavalry and Company I were under the command of Robert E. Lee for three months in late 1857 and again near the end of 1860.