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Fort Griffin, now a Texas State Historic Site, was a US Cavalry fort established 31 July 1867 by four companies of the Sixth Cavalry, U.S. Army under the command of Lt. Col. S.D. Sturgis,:64 in the northern part of West Texas, specifically northwestern Shackelford County, to give settlers protection from early Comanche and Kiowa raids. Originally called Camp Wilson after Henry Hamilton Wilson, a recently deceased lieutenant, it was later named for Charles Griffin, a former Civil War Union general who had commanded, as de facto military governor, the Department of Texas during the early years of Reconstruction.
The original intent was to build permanent stone buildings, but throughout its 14-year existence, the fort retained a temporary appearance. Log houses called “picket” huts, tents, and rough frame structures were constructed as temporary shelter. The scarcity of materials, shortage of funds, and daily demands of military duty allowed for only six of the more than 90 buildings of the fort to be built completely of stone.
Following the Red River War of 1874, the Comanche and Kiowa threat on the prairies waned, and rapid settlement by ranchers and farmer put Fort Griffin squarely in the settled area. Capt. j.B. Irvine, commanding Company A, Twenty-Second Infantry lowered the flag for the last time and marched to Fort Clark on 31 May 1879.