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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts

Possibly the earliest settlement fort in Texas, built around 1833 in northeastern Houston County by Reuben Brown.

Fort Brown, Buildings 85 & 86

Marker Title: Fort Brown, Buildings 85 and 86
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Fort Brown, Gorgas Road, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Morgue and linen storage. 1867 Fort Brown Buildings 85 and 86. Brick fringe, cornice. Autopsies in yellow fever study were made here by Dr. Wm. C. Gorgas, Capt. Hennessey, Lt. Crowder, Dr. Melon, defying orders of superior officer. Dr. Gorgas became immune.

Fort Brown Cavalry Barracks

Marker Title: Fort Brown Cavalry Barracks
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1987
Marker Location: Fort Brown - Campus of TX Southmost College, Brownsville.
Marker Text: This building, associated with the rebuilding of Fort Brown after the Civil War, housed cavalry units until World War I, when it served as a quartermaster warehouse and commissary. Closed after World War II, the building was leased by private industry until purchased by Texas Southmost College. The one-story brick structure features an elongated T-plan, with a central entry through an arched opening, and reconstructed shed-roof porches.

Fort Brown Commissary/Guardhouse

Marker Title: Fort Brown Commissary/Guardhouse
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: Fort Brown - Grounds of TX Southwest College, Gorgias Street, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Constructed in 1905 to serve as a food storage facility, this building was abandoned one year later when Fort Brown was closed. Upon reactivation of the post during Mexican border disturbances, the building served as a guardhouse and jail. Among those quartered here were political refugees following the Battle of Matamoros on June 4, 1913. The structure features a loading dock and a shed roof with gabled dormer over the entrance .

Fort Brown Reservation

Marker Title: Fort Brown Reservation
City: Brownsville
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Ft. Brown-TX Southmost College 1600 East Elizabeth Street.
Marker Text: Named by Gen. Zachary Taylor during Mexican war, for Maj. Jacob Brown, who died in 1846 defending the post. Permanent 385-acre reservation laid out 1848 by Col. Wm. Davenport, around original earthworks. Young officers in the Taylor occupancy included D.C. Buell, U.S. Grant, Geo. G. Meade, Geo. H. Thomas, later Civil War general in the U.S. Army; and Braxton Bragg, T.H. Holmes, James Longstreet, J.C. Pemberton and E. Kirby Smith, future confederate generals. In the late 1850's Robert E. Lee served here. In March 1861, Texas confederates under Col. John S. Ford occupied the post; later C.S.A. Commanders were Cols. P.N. Luckett and Aug. Buchel, Gens. H.P. Bee and J.B. Magruder. In November 1863 the post was burned. Federals under Gen. N.P. Banks had a camp of tents at Fort Brown until July 1864. After that, Gen. J.S. Slaughter and Col. Ford reoccupied the post with confederates until the war ended. Soon after the confederate surrender at Appomatox, U.S. Gen. Phillip Sheridan brought in troops for a show of force against the French in Mexico City. In 1867-69, new permanent Fort was built by Capt. Wm. A. Wainwright. City and college acquired reservation in 1948. Northern boundary International Boulevard.

Fort Brown

Marker Title: Fort Brown, Texas
County: Cameron
Year Marker Erected: 1938
Marker Location: Fort Brown -Southmost College Golf Course-east end of Elizabeth, Brownsville.
Marker Text: Fort Taylor, renamed Fort Brown, May 17, 1846, in honor of Major Jacob Brown, 7th Infantry, who died here May 9, 1846, in its defense; Garrisoned by the 7th Infantry with Companies "I" 2nd Art. and "E" 3rd Artillery. Original dimensions: Earthwork of 800 yards perimeter, 6 bastion walls 9 1/2 ft. high, parapet 15 ft. wide, ditch 8 1/2 feet deep, 15 to 20 feet wide. Lieut. Thomas Barlow Chapter, D.A.R. 1938 (Marble slab mounted on concrete foundation. Erected by Fort Brown, U.S. Government.) (Said to have been in use somewhat, supplemented by barracks where Zachary Taylor Library is.)

Communities and Related Links
Brownsville
Brownsville Chamber of Commerce
NPS Web Site

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