Military, defense and supply center in the Civil War. 11th Tex. Cav. Regt. raised in this and area counties, May 1861. Removed immediate danger from North by capture [of] Forts Washita, Cobb, Arbuckle in Indian Territory. Beef for these posts was supplied by local contractor. Men and boys served in 16th, 20th Tex. Cav. Regts., the Border Regt., and State Militia. The 9th Tex. Cav. Regt. that became part of famed Ross Brigade was organized Oct. 1861 at Brogdon Springs. Fort Preston, 17 mi. N. on Red River was used by Confederate and State troops as a post on defense line along river to prevent Indian raids and Federal invasion. Supplies brought to
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Ft. Preston by boat were sent by wagon to other frontier forts. Regional depot was set up in Sherman 1861 to receive clothing for soldiers. A commissary supplied food to passing troops, families and widows of soldiers. Col. William C. Quantrill, C.S.A., and his notorious guerrilla fighters - including members of the James and Younger Gangs - camped near here in 1863-4. He is credited with stopping cattle thefts from across Red River and persuading a "mob" of war widows not to storm the commissary for coffee and tea.However, he had to flee to escape Confederate arrest because of practice of killing deserters and draft evaders and "shooting up" neighboring towns. In 1862 a "Peace Party Plot" against Confederates resulted in arrest of 40 suspects, but a court investigation found all but one innocent. Citizens provided large grain stores, starting raising cotton, extracting glauber salt, copperas for medicinal use.