FORT MILAM. The first Fort Milam, on the west bank of the Brazos River in central Falls County, was built in 1834 and called Fort Viesca. In December 1835 it was renamed in honor of Benjamin R. Milam, who had died at the siege of Bexar earlier that month. The fort was built for the protection of the settlers of the Robertson's colony community of Sarahville de Viesca at the falls of the Brazos. It was abandoned during the Runaway Scrape in March 1836. As settlers began to return to the area in the spring, however, Col. Edward Burleson organized three ranger companies to garrison the fort and provide protection to that exposed region. Burleson's volunteers were replaced on the Brazos frontier in the fall by Col. Robert M. Coleman's rangers, and Capt. Thomas H. Barron's company of Coleman's battalion took up garrison duty at Fort Milam on October 1. Barron was relieved by Capt. Daniel Monroe in January 1837. From Fort Milam detachments were sent to construct Little River Fort in 1836 and forts Fisher and Hendersonqv in 1837. Ranger enlistments began to expire during the late summer of 1837; the Fort Milam garrison, once again under Barron's command, began to evaporate, and the fort soon stood vacant. Its site is now marked only by a stone monument four miles southwest of Marlin.
George B. Erath, "The Memoirs of George B. Erath, 1813–1891," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 26–27 (January-October 1923; rpts., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1923; Waco: Heritage Society of Waco, 1956). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, Vols. 2 and 4. Adele B. Looscan, "Capt. Joseph Daniels," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (July 1901). Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969). Lillian S. St. Romain, Western Falls County, Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1951). George Tyler, History of Bell County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936).
Thomas W. Cutrer
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