Camp Hudson was one of several outposts established between San Antonio and El Paso built to protect travelers on the Chihuahua Trail. The buildings at Camp Hudson were designed to cope with the harsh weather along the Devils River. Constructed of a mixture of gravel and lime the buildings stayed cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
At the height of its occupation, Camp Hudson housed Companies D & G of the 9th Cavalry and by April 1868 other troops were also garrisoned at the camp. The camp was pretty much the center of activity in this part of the world and even had a weekly newspaper, The Camp Hudson Times. The Times documented daily life at Camp Hudson and in the surrounding area including "front page" news, a society column, obituaries, ads for business and services and plenty of editorial comment. As one Ranger described it, "These papers are, of course, on the 'berlesque' order, but are as eagerly looked for as any Paper."
In 1859 one of the experimental camel caravans led by Lt. William H. Echols from Camp Verde passed through Camp Hudson on its way to West Texas. Colonel Robert E. Lee, then in charge of the Texas Department, was determined to test the capabilities of these beasts of burden in the deserts of West Texas against the traditional mule. Echols had 24 camels and an equal number of mules with him when he reached Camp Hudson where he picked up another officer and an infantry company for a 75-day patrol through West Texas. In 1860 Echols took another detachment through Camp Hudson, this time with 20 camels on his way to explore the Big Bend.
In April 1871 Camp Hudson had three commissioned officers and sixty enlisted men. In March 1876 Lt. Col George Pearson Buell was stationed at Camp Hudson with two companies of cavalry. At that time the post was mainly used to protect newly arrived settlers and daily reports from this time reflect that troops had several encounters with Indians even following them all the way to Mexico.
Camp Hudson was permanently closed in January 1877 when the threat of Indian attacks no longer existed in that area. The private property on which the camp once stood shows no sign of the original buildings or of the Army's occupation of the site.
All material printed on this page
and this web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.
Copyright by Louis F. Aulbach, 2001, 2004