Fort Duncan, on the east side of the Rio Grande above Eagle Pass in Maverick County, was established by order of Maj. Gen. William J. Worth on March 27, 1849, when Capt. Sidney Burbank occupied the site with companies A, B, and F of the First United States Infantry. John Twohig owned the 5,000-acre site. At the start of the Mexican War in 1846 a temporary post called Camp Eagle Pass had been established at the site. Roads ran from there to Fort Inge and Fort McIntosh, and mail was received from San Antonio. On November 14, 1849, the post was named Fort Duncan, after James Duncan, a hero of the Mexican War. The post consisted of a storehouse, two magazines, four officers' quarters, and a stone hospital, in addition to quarters for enlisted men. Construction was done half by the troops and half by hired workers. There was ample stone but no timber for building, and the men suffered from exposure. Company C, First Artillery, asked permission to construct quarters at its own expense. The fort was significant because of the trade crossing into Mexico at Eagle Pass, its location on the California Road, and its position for scouting against Indians in the 1850s.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
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