Fort Martin Scott was one of several forts built by the Army to protect settlers from Indian raids. Established in 1848, it was the very first frontier outpost established in Texas. Units garrisoned there patrolled the area contiguous to the Fredericksburg-San Antonio Road and included at various times forces belonging to the 1st Infantry, the 2nd Dragoons, and the 4th U.S. Cavalry.
Today Fort Martin Scott is a historic site operated by the City of Fredericksburg. It is located two miles west of the city on Baron’s Creek. Although the only surviving structure is the limestone guardhouse, the site has been restored to its original design and now includes the post commander’s quarters, sutler’s store, laundry, military hospital, enlisted men’s barracks, quartermaster’s warehouse, a stable with barn, and a blacksmith shop. The site is open to the public and hosts historical reenactments twice yearly. Its mission is to “preserve, protect, and promote” the State while opening dialogue and debate about its multicultural heritage and the historic significance of these frontier forts to the development of Texas.
The Army’s string of frontier forts extending into the Panhandle and New Mexico were believed to have been a major factor in subduing the Southern Plains Indians. In reality, they were too widely dispersed and poorly manned to be much of a deterrent to their raids. They did, however, significantly enhance the country’s economic growth and settler’s expansion into Indian lands. – excerpt from Palo Duro.