Richard A. Thompson

CAMP NEVILLE SPRINGS. The site of Camp Neville Springs is on Government Spring Road (also known as Grapevine Spring Road) 1¼ miles east of Grapevine Hills campgrounds #2 and #2 in Big Bend National Park. The camp, on the Comanche Trail, was established in the 1880s to protect the area from Apaches and bandits from Mexico. It was primarily occupied by a group of Black Seminole scouts who had enlisted for six months at Fort Clark. They were commanded by a lieutenant of cavalry or infantry from that post. Normally, the small scout command consisted of eighteen to twenty enlisted men and one officer. Two of the scout commanders were Lt. Woodbridge Geary, Nineteenth Infantry, and Lt. J. W. King, Eighth Cavalry. Every sixty days the scouts would return to Fort Clark to be paid and see their families, and the camp would be relieved by eight to ten enlisted soldiers, usually under a sergeant, to guard and protect the permanent structures and equipment. The eponymous spring is in a deep ravine surrounded by cottonwood trees. On top of the ravine and seventy-five feet from the spring is the foundation of a permanent barracks sixty feet long and twenty feet wide. A one-room stone house nearby was probably the officers' quarters; only the north wall and part of the south wall remain. Because this camp was permanent, many of the scouts from Camp Peña Colorado, seventy-five miles to the northeast, stayed overnight or to rest and eat. Camp Neville Springs is presumed to have been permanently closed in January 1883, when Camp Peña Colorado was abandoned. At that time all military personnel in the surrounding area were called in and transferred to other posts.


Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Richard A. Thompson, "CAMP NEVILLE SPRINGS," accessed February 23, 2020,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on November 10, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...