Fort Chadbourne

By: Charles G. Davis

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

Fort Chadbourne was on Oak Creek near what is now U.S. Highway 277 eleven miles northeast of Bronte in extreme northeast Coke County. The post was established on October 28, 1852, by companies A and K of the Eighth United States Infantry for frontier protection and named for 2d Lt. Theodore Lincoln Chadbourne, who was killed at the battle of Resaca de la Palma in the Mexican War. Much Indian activity occurred in the area during the 1850s, including a skirmish inside the fort in 1856. The fort was a defense for a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route from 1858 to 1861. It was surrendered to Confederate Col. Henry E. McCulloch on February 28, 1861. Chadbourne was occupied briefly by United States troops after the Civil War, but lack of water, wood, and adequate facilities forced its abandonment in 1868. The site, near the present town of Fort Chadbourne, is designated by a Texas historical marker near the old cemetery south of Highway 277.

Arrie Barrett, "Western Frontier Forts of Texas, 1845–1861," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 7 (1931). M. L. Crimmins, "Experiences of an Army Surgeon at Fort Chadbourne," West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 15 (1939). John Leeds Kerr and Frank Donovan, Destination Topolobampo: The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway (San Marino, California: Golden West, 1968). Jewell G. Pritchett, From the Top of Old Hayrick: A Narrative History of Coke County (Abilene, Texas: Pritchett, 1980).
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas

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

Charles G. Davis, “Fort Chadbourne,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995