Fort McIntosh

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Fort McIntosh, on the Rio Grande near Laredo, was established in the aftermath of the Mexican War and abandoned after World War II. American occupation of the former Spanish presidio dates from the arrival in November 1846 of Capt. Mirabeau B. Lamar, former president of the Republic of Texas, with the Laredo Guard of the Texas Volunteers. Pursuant to the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which terminated the war with Mexico and settled the boundary question in favor of the United States, the government dispatched Lt. Egbert Ludovicus Vielé, subsequent chief engineer of Central Park in New York City, from Ringgold Barracks (see FORT RINGGOLD) with a company of the First United States Infantry. On March 3, 1849, the unit reached the banks of the Rio Grande in Webb County, where they set up a camp of tents on a bluff to the west of Laredo. They named the post Camp Crawford, in honor of Secretary of War George W. Crawford. In January 1850 the site became Fort McIntosh, in tribute to Lt. Col. James S. McIntosh, killed three years earlier in the battle of Molino Del Rey.

Fort McIntosh formed a key link in the dual chain of forts that lined the Rio Grande and the western frontier. Its geographical location, intense summer heat, and scarcity of rainfall and tillable soil made the location undesirable, but the post nevertheless provided the area a measure of military and economic security. Comanches and Lipan Apaches harassed the region; the adjacent river ford was popularly known as Indian Crossing. An inspection by Col. J. K. F. Mansfield in 1856 confirmed McIntosh's strategic value, and the temporary removal of the garrison three years later depressed the local economy.

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Garna Christian | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Fort McIntosh is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Fort McIntosh is classified as a Town


Latitude: 27.50779580
Longitude: -99.52170910

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated