Camp Salmon, later named Camp McCord, was on a branch of the East Fork of Hubbard Creek near Sloan's Ranch in northeastern Callahan County, on the Eastland County line. In February 1862 John A. Salmon, Texas Ranger and frontier fighter, enlisted and on March 8, 1862, was mustered in as captain of Company B for Erath County of the Frontier Regiment under Col. James M. Norris at Stephenville. Named for the company commander, Camp Salmon was established in March 1862 by Colonel Norris 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 and stretching from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Norris placed half of Company C under the command of Captain Salmon at Camp Breckenridge in Stephens County, while the other half was stationed at Camp Salmon. The troops initially lived in the open. Huts were not constructed until the summer of 1862. Captain Salmon resigned on December 19, 1862, at Camp Salmon. John Salmon continued to serve the state of Texas in the Rangers of Frontier Protection, Twentieth Brigade, Texas State Troops, during the Civil War.
The principal mission of the soldiers was to protect the Ledbetter Salt Works, located in the southwestern part of Shackelford County, against American Indian attacks. Beginning in the early part of 1864 and continuing until the close of the war, the attention of the Frontier Regiment was principally directed to Jayhawkers and deserters. The camp served as headquarters for scouting expeditions until March 1864, when the regiment was consolidated, and Camp Salmon was abandoned. Around Christmas Day 1864, forces of the Second Frontier District were to assemble at Camp McCord (which was the previous Camp Salmon), named for Col. James E. McCord. The Bosque County militia joined the men of the Frontier District when they arrived at Camp Salmon about December 26, 1864. Judge Scrutchfield of Bosque County reported the camp’s strength at 500 men. The assembled force was organized into a 325-man battalion under Capt. Silas S. Totton. The combined frontier force at Camp Salmon consisted of companies from Bosque, Johnson, Comanche, Coryell, and Erath counties that would join the men under Confederate commander Capt. Henry Fossett at Fort Chadbourne, prior to what became the battle of Dove Creek. Camp Salmon was part of a 2,000-mile frontier and coastal defense of Texas. A Texas Historical Marker commemorating Camp Salmon was erected on the grounds of the Erath County Courthouse in 1963.
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Brutus Clay Chrisman, Early Days in Callahan County (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Printing and Stationery, 1966). James K. Greer, Buck Barry: Texas Ranger and Frontiersman. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). 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). William C. Pool, “The Battle of Dove Creek,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 53 (April 1950). Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1988). David Paul Smith, Frontier Defense in the Civil War: Texas' Rangers and Rebels (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992). Bill Winsor, Texas in the Confederacy (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1978). Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Jeanne F. Lively
William V. Scott,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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