Camp Shafter

By: Richard A. Thompson

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: September 11, 2019

Camp Shafter was a semipermanent military outpost on Comanche Creek twenty-six miles southeast of Fort Duncan and Eagle Pass in Maverick County. The area later became part of the ranch of Ewing Halsell. The camp was established on May 28, 1873, by Company M, Fourth United States Cavalry, commanded by Capt. William O'Connell, and named for Lt. Col. William R. Shafter, then in command at Fort Duncan. A few days before, six companies of the Fourth Cavalry had returned with Lt. John L. Bullis of the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. Bullis, with his famous Seminole-Negro scouts, had just carried out the raid on the Kickapoo Village near Remolino, Coahuila. The troops were under the command of Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie. Camp Shafter was initially established to guard against potential Indian or Mexican retaliation for the Remolino raid. However, when none occurred, it was used as a base for scouting along the Rio Grande. During May and June 1873 the camp was home for Company M and Company E, Fourth Cavalry. Company E was commanded by First Lt. George Thurston. Various units from forts Clark and Duncan used the camp throughout 1873. The site is now covered by a lake on Comanche Creek.

Records of the Fourth Regiment of Cavalry, National Archives, Washington.

Time Periods:
  • Reconstruction

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

Richard A. Thompson, “Camp Shafter,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994
September 11, 2019