Fort Merrill, located on the right bank of the Nueces River where the Corpus Christi to San Antonio road crossed the river, fifty miles above its mouth, was founded on March 1, 1850, by Capt. Samuel M. Plummer and companies H and K of the First United States Infantry. Lumber and logs used in the construction of the fort were shipped in from New Orleans, and the soldiers of the garrison erected the buildings. The fort probably was named in honor of Capt. Moses E. Merrill, who was killed in the Mexican War battle of Molino del Rey on September 8, 1847. Companies I and E of the Rifle Regiment were the regular garrison until April 26, 1853, when they were transferred to Fort Ewell, leaving only two noncommissioned officers and thirteen men at Fort Merrill. After 1853 the fort was garrisoned only intermittently. When W. G. Freeman inspected it on June 21, 1853, Lt. Alexander McRae was in command, but the garrison was so small that it could do no more than night sentinel duty. The fort was abandoned on December 1, 1855. Fort Merrill is off U.S. Highway 281, three miles northwest of Dinero in Live Oak County.
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