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FORT MERRILL

FORT MERRILL. 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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
M. L. Crimmins, "W. G. Freeman's Report on the Eighth Military Department," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 51–54 (July 1947- October 1950). Robert W. Frazer, Forts of the West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965). Francis Paul Prucha, A Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789–1895 (Madison: State Historical Association of Wisconsin, 1964). Robert Wooster, Soldiers, Sutlers and Settlers: Garrison Life of the Texas Frontier (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987).
Thomas W. Cutrer

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Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas W. Cutrer, "Fort Merrill," accessed May 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbf37.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.