Camp Cooper (1856-61) – A collection of tents and makeshift buildings of mud, stone, and wood, this short-lived camp protected settlers and controlled the 400 or so Comanche Indians living on the nearby Comanche Reservation. Robert E. Lee served at the camp as a junior officer in 1856-57. It was the base of numerous expeditions and patrols against the Indians until the Civil War began and the commander surrendered to Texas troops. During the post-Civil War period, State militia and Texas Rangers occasionally used the camp.
A building dating from the early 1850’s, probably constructed with fragments of post structures, stands in the vicinity of the southern edge of the parade ground. The present privately owned ranch house, a mile to the east, contains stones and glass from the camp. Permission to visit the site, which involves wading across the hip-deep Clear Fork of the Brazos River, should be obtained from the ranch owners. The site of the old camp is on a privately owned ranch, in the vicinity of Fort Griffin State Park, which is on U.S. 283. The site is accessible by foot only.
© Kathy Weiser, updated December 2017.