Fort Phantom Hill Texas is near Abilene. It has over a dozen tall chimneys made of stone towering over Fort Phantom Hill. The many different wildflowers, mesquite trees, and native cacti provide a rugged beauty to the untamed West Texas landscape. The United States Infantry struggled to build a post to protect the pioneers who were moving westward and settling in Texas. The Fort was first named "The Post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos river". The original site was chosen by General Persifor F. Smith. The Post was under the command of Major John Joseph Abercrombie a West graduate from November 14, 1851 to April 27, 1852. Major Abercrombie and the post's quartermaster Lieutenant Clinton Lear did not share the Generals opinion about the Posts location.
The post was set up, and by 1853 was a large well developed five-company post constructed of a few stone buildings, stone building foundations, and a few structures with wood walls and thatch roofs. The stone and wood had to be hauled in from Elm Creek by ox wagon about forty miles away. There were so many hardships, including an inadequate water supply, that November of 1853 the Post was abandoned by the troops, shortly after the military left the post fire destroyed most of the log walls and thatch roofing. The stone buildings and several ruins remain today standing guard as they did years ago.
The Southern Overland Mail route and the Butterfield Stagecoach used the abandoned fort to set up a relay station in 1858. The Fort was used again during the Civil War by the Frontier Battalion of the Confederacy. In 1871, the Fort became a sub-post for troops out of Fort Griffin while handling Indian campaigns. Around 1875 a town was established around the Forts ruins with over five hundred residents. The town had a hotel and other businesses. The main business of the time was purchasing and shipping of buffalo hides. For a short period of time Fort Phantom, Hill was Jones County Seat until residents moved it to Anson. From 1852 to 1853 and again from 1856 to the 1890's Fort Phantom Hill was occupied. Fort Phantom Hill became unoccupied by the 1890's.
In 1928, John Guitar purchased The Fort Phantom Hill property. His grandson Jim Alexander purchased the property in 1969. He deeded the property to the Fort Phantom Foundation assuring its preservation and public accessibility. The twenty-two-acre location currently has a whole stone powder magazine, warehouse, commissary and stone guardhouse that are in remarkably good shape. Fort Phantom Hill is a must see when visiting Texas Forts and is part of the Texas Forts Trail. For more information about this amazing Fort visit http://fortphantom.org.