From the Annals of the Horse Troopers – In 1852, Fort Clark was established by two companies of the First Infantry under the command of Major Joseph H. LaMotte along with an advance and rear guard of U.S. Mounted Rifles. The U.S. Army post was located at the site of Las Moras Springs just outside of present-day Bracketville. The site was a favorite camp ground for Comanche, Mescalero, Lipan and other Native Americans. The enormous spring was a stopping place on great Comanche War Trail leading into Mexico. The Fort was an important link in the line of defense against raiding war parties. It also served as a base for the famous Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts and served as an active post through World War II.
Today the site is most famous for its fabulous spring fed swimming pool – the third largest pool in Texas. Legend has it that the commander of the fort sent a requisition to create the pool at the request of his wife and was turned down. He resubmitted it as a requisition for a horse-watering trough and was approved. The 100 yard long pool is an ideal spot for summer recreation under the towering cottonwood and oak trees and a must-do for Texas swimming hole aficionados.
Photo from fortclark.com.
From the annals of the US Army – In 1852 Fort Clark was established at Las Moras Springs in Kinney County. Originally named Fort Riley, the post was renamed in honor of Major John B. Clark, a Mexican- American War veteran. Fort Clark was the southern anchor of the line of frontier forts protecting the western frontier. The land was leased from Samuel Maverick. Oscar Brackett established a supply village for the fort at Las Moras, later called Brackettville. In 1884 Mary Maverick was paid $80,000 for the 3,965-acre tract. From 1872 until 1914 the fort was the home of the Black Seminole scouts and the Fourth United States Cavalry. Later Fort Clark was the garrison for the Tenth United State Cavalry and the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth United States Infantry which were mounted regiments known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” In June 1944, after full mechanization of the cavalry, Fort Clark, one of the last horse-cavalry posts in the country, was ordered closed. Legend has it that the wife of one of the commanders wanted to create a swimming pool using the water from Las Moras Springs. When the requisition was denied, it was resubmitted as a horse watering trough and granted – which is the only reason the incredible pool exists today. If you love great swimming holes this is a must pilgrimage. In 1971 the property was purchased by North American Towns of Texas and turned into a private recreation and retirement community.