Fort Phantom Hill

Fort Phantom Hill was one of the second line of forts laid out in the early 1850s to protect the westward-moving frontier of Texas settlement. In 1849 the federal government sent Capt. Randolph B. Marcy to explore and mark the best route through the ComancherĂ­a, the vast region to the north and west of Austin inhabited by the warlike Comanche Indians. This was meant to give safer passage to immigrants headed for the California gold fields. The advanced cordon of forts, including Fort Phantom Hill, was established as a result of Marcy's recommendations.

Acting on orders from Gen. Persifor F. Smith, Lt. Col. John J. Abercrombie arrived at the Clear Fork of the Brazos in the area of present Jones County with five companies of the Fifth Infantry on November 14, 1851. Smith had recently taken command of the newly organized Texas (Eighth Military) Department from the ailing Gen. William G. Belknap, who had been supervising construction of the fort on the upper Brazos that was named for him. Originally, Belknap's orders had been to build a second fort on Pecan Bayou, at a site now in Coleman County. Smith, who was unfamiliar with this area, changed the locale to the Clear Fork near its junction with Elm Creek.

Continue Reading

H. Allen Anderson | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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 Phantom Hill is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Fort Phantom Hill is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Phantom Hill]


Latitude: 32.63289800
Longitude: -99.68342170

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated