History for Road Trips III: Fort Phantom Hill (early 1850s)

Here’s what’s left of Fort Phantom Hill, about 12 miles north of Abilene, Texas. Built in 1851, the fort was badly planned and located too far from adequate water or timber. It never saw fighting; U.S. soldiers stationed here traded with nearby Comanches, Lipans, Wichitas, Kiowas, and Kickapoos. The fort was abandoned in 1854 and burned down. In the late 1850s, a rebuilt Phantom Hill later became Way Station No. 54 on the Butterfield stagecoach route. Today the lonely site holds a few brick ruins abutting pastureland.

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