Colorado Station

By: Merle R. Hudgins

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Colorado Station, on the lower Colorado River, was also known as Station Colorado River and Post Colorado. It should not be confused with Colorado Camp or Fort Colorado, other garrisons in place during the republic. Colorado Station occupied two sites during its installation. The first was at Thomas Cayce's ferry near the site of present Bay City, Texas, in Matagorda County. This small army post was garrisoned from the latter part of November 1836 until June 1837 by a detachment of Permanent Volunteers, thirty to forty men, under the command of Capt. Andrew Neill and 1st Lt. James Campbell. Gen. Felix Huston ordered the establishment of the post to assist those traveling on official business, to prevent the use of the ferry and crossing of the Colorado there by army personnel traveling without proper orders, and to facilitate communications between army headquarters near Texana and the capital at Columbia. After Houston became the capital in May 1837, the republic army of both regulars and volunteers was reduced by two-thirds.

With the new capital in Houston it was necessary to establish a new army post higher up on the Colorado River to replace the one at Cayce's ferry. This second garrison was located at Mercer's Ferry, a major crossing on the Colorado at a site now in Wharton County near Egypt, Texas, on the west bank of the river. The new garrison was called Colorado Station, and less often it was referred to as Post Colorado. This area had also been the site of an encampment of the Texas army under Gen. Thomas J. Rusk, on May 20, 1836, but no post was established here until the location of the second Colorado Station.

Captain Neill and his men reached Mercer's about June 1, 1837, to set up camp and establish a post. Their duties were the same as those of the troops at the earlier Colorado Station, which had been abandoned within a week or two before the transfer to Mercer's. Most of the men at Colorado Station were ordered to nearby Post West Bernard Station and Post Bernard in January 1838, leaving only a few men at Mercer's until about June 1838. In command of the men during this period were lieutenants Edward W. Sargent and Peter R. Garner, Second Regiment of Permanent Volunteers.

Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969).

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

Merle R. Hudgins, “Colorado Station,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994