A strategic installation in the U.S. Army's line of forts along the military road stretching from San Antonio to El Paso, Fort Clark was established in June 1852. Located near natural springs and Las Moras Creek, its site was considered a point of primary importance to the defense of frontier settlements and control of the U.S. Mexico border. Many infantry regiments and almost all cavalry regiments were at one time based at Fort Clark, as well as companies of Texas Rangers and Confederate troops during the Civil War. The Army's Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts also were assigned to Fort Clark, and with Black troops of the 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry played a decisive role in the Indian campaigns of the 1870s.
Prominent military leaders who served here include Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie, Gen. Wesley Merritt, Gen. William R. Shafter, Gen. John L. Bullis, Gen. Zenas R. Bliss, Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, and Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
Fort Clark remained a horse-cavalry post for the U.S. Army through World War II and finally was inactivated in 1946. The fort property, including many native stone buildings constructed by civilian craftsmen in the 1870s, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. (1994)