Tag Archives: Fort Griffin

Today in Texas History – January 24

JOHNSON, BRITTON | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas ...

From the Annals of the Llano Estacado – In 1871, former slave Britton Johnson was killed by a band of Kiowa who attacked his wagon train. Johnson had been a slave of Moses Johnson, but was treated more like the foreman of his ranch and allowed freedom of movement and to raise his own livestock.  In October of 1864, Indians killed his son and kidnapped his wife and other children in the Elm Creek Raid.  Johnson pursued his relatives and became somewhat legendary for his exploits across the Llano Estacado that eventually resulted in the ransom of his relatives. After the Civil War, Johnson worked as a teamster hauling goods between Weatherford and Fort Griffin.   On the fateful trip he and two other black teamsters were ambushed by a band of about 25 Kiowa four miles east of Salt Creek in Young County.  A group of teamsters from a larger train of wagons discovered the bodies and reported that it appeared that Johnson died last in a desperate defense behind the body of his horse.  Other teamsters who found the mutilated bodies of Johnson and his men counted 173 rifle and pistol shells in the area where Johnson made his stand. He was buried with his men in a common grave beside the wagon road.

Today in Texas History – May 31

From the Annals of the Frontier –  In 1881, Capt. J. B. Irvine closed Fort Griffin and marched the only remaining unit, Company A, 22nd Infantry to Fort Clark near present day Bracketville.  Fort Griffin, located just north of Albany in Shackelford County was instrumental in the campaign against the Comanche, Kiowa and their allies.   The post was established in 1867 on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.  The fort became the centerpiece of the border-defense line from Fort Richardson at Jacksboro to the Big Bend country. By 1879 the southern buffalo herd was depleted, and the fort and its outposts were within a settled area.

The history of the fort (sort of) and the settlement of Albany and environs is celebrated each weekend June at the Fort Griffin Fandangle.