At first inception, the post known as Fort Stockton served as a camp, helping to establish a military presence in 1858 in the region. The location was a key stopover along the San Antonio-El Paso road due to an abundant water supply – Comanche Springs. The spring water, said to issue from the ground “like a sea monster”, provided essential resources for travelers, including the Comanche who maintained their own camp around the springs long before the military began to dominate the region. Although the arrival of soldiers, courtesy of Camp Stockton, reduced confrontation between conflicting forces, Native American presence wouldn’t end completely until the arrival of the U.S. Cavalry in 1867. The soldiers re-occupied the post after a brief abandonment during the Civil War, establishing the post as Fort Stockton. The military post was garrisoned by four companies of the 9th Cavalry including members of the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Today, the remains of the Fort feature restored original and reconstructed buildings and are highlighted by the Officer’s Row, the guardhouse, and the enlisted men’s barracks. Together with the parade grounds, the surviving structures comprise a National Register Historic District. A Visitors’ Center provides an introduction to the history of the fort and the Historic Fort Stockton Museum, located in Barracks number one, features interpretive exhibits.