FORT FISHER. Fort Fisher, at a site on the west bank of the Brazos River now within the Waco city limits, was built in February 1837 by Capt. Thomas H. Barron's company of Maj. William H. Smith's battalion of Texas Rangersqv. In 1837, wrote ranger George B. Erath, "Waco was in the possession of buffalo, and only a short time before had been vacated by the Waco Indians." According to Erath, the rangers "built some shanties for barracks near the big spring of the river" and named the post for Secretary of War William S. Fisher. The fort was garrisoned first by Barron's men and later by other rangers, including Capt. Daniel Monroe's company, and Smith for a time maintained his headquarters there. The men "were too far out to do good service," however, and so the fort was abandoned in June 1837 or soon thereafter. The post was reconstructed in 1968 as a home for the Colonel Homer Garrison Museum and serves as headquarters for a company of Texas Rangers. The reconstructed fort displays works of contemporary Western artists and maintains an excellent collection of weapons connected with the history of the Texas Rangers. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is located nearby.
Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969). John Sleeper and J. C. Hutchins, comps., Waco and McLennan County (Waco: Golledge, 1876; rpt., Waco: Kelley, 1966).
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