open: Tue.-Sun. 10am-4pm
tel: 512-782-5659

Brigadier General John C. L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum

The 45,000-square foot Texas Military Forces Museum explores the history of the Lone Star State’s militia and volunteer forces from 1823 (date of the first militia muster in Stephen F. Austin’s colony) to 1903 when the Congress created the National Guard. From 1903 to the present the museum tells the story of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Texas State Guard, in both peacetime and wartime. The museum displays dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, trucks, jeeps, helicopters, jet fighters, observation aircraft and towed artillery pieces. Permanent exhibits utilize uniforms, weapons, equipment, personal items, film, music, photographs, battle dioramas and realistic full-scale environments to tell the story of the Texas Military Forces in the Texas Revolution, the Texas Navy, the Texas Republic, the Mexican War, the Battles along the Indian Frontier, the War between the States, the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Peace Keeping Deployments and the Global War on Terror. Living history programs, battle reenactments and other special events take place throughout the year. Admission to the museum is FREE.

Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm

Visit The Museum


Here are detailed directions on how to get to the museum.

Want to know about UPCOMING EVENTS?     Subscribe to our Upcoming Events List

An informative video about the museum:
Telling Stories-Texas Military Forces Museum

Looking for an activity for the kids to during your visit? Print out our SCAVENGER HUNT


The library and archives are open by appointment for research to all members of the public. Please call for an appointment. The museum maintains an incredible archive of various materials including:

World War I Service cards for every Texan who served

Link to WWI records online at Familysearch.org

  • Extensive research library
  • World War II card file for the 36th Infantry Division.  Link to PDFs- 36th Infantry Division Roster WWII
  • Thousands of original documents from the Texas National Guard from 1910 to the present day
  • Photo archive of pictures related to the Texas Military Forces

Contact Us

Office staff can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Phone: 512-782-5659
Email: txmilmuseum@gmail.com

Mailing Address:
P.O Box 5218
Austin, Tx 78763

Address for GPS :  3038 West 35th St. 78703


5 days ago

The Texas Military Forces Museum

Remember our upcoming Close Assault 1968 event is May 25-26. Showtimes are at 11 am and 2 pm each day. This year we will be doing a Vietnam based program. ...

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1 week ago

The Texas Military Forces Museum

Palmetto Ranch diorama edited in Tuxpi ...

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154 year ago on May 13, 1865 the 2nd and final day of the Battle of Palmetto Ranch occurred.

News of the disasters that had befallen the Confederacy did not take long to reach Texas. By April 22, 1865, Houston newspapers were reporting the surrender of Lee.

As word of the collapse of the Confederate cause spread throughout Texas, many gave up all hope of continuing the struggle. Large numbers of soldiers, perhaps as many as half those still in arms, abandoned their units and went home. But many others did not. On the Rio Grande, Texas troops under John S. “Rip” Ford held to their duty.

Palmetto Ranch: The Last Battle
On the morning of May 12, a Union force led by Lieutenant Colonel David Branson and consisting of the 34th Indiana Infantry and two companies of the 2nd Texas Cavalry (U.S.), dismounted, left Brazos Island, just above the mouth of the Rio Grande, and marched inland. The purpose of the advance was never adequately explained. The Federal troops encountered Confederate outposts near White’s Ranch and a day-long skirmish ensued. The Northerners drove Rebel cavalry commanded by Captain William Robinson westward past Palmetto Ranch (sometimes spelled Palmito), but withdrew to White’s Ranch toward nightfall.

At dawn on May 13, Colonel Theodore Barrett arrived at White’s Ranch at the head of the 62nd United States Colored Troops. Taking command of the expedition, Barrett now had 500 infantry on hand and decided to renew the Federal advance westward. Nearing Palmetto Ranch, Union troops engaged in a sharp and lengthy skirmish with Captain Robinson’s force of 60 cavalrymen, whom they managed to drive about one mile west of the ranch. Following this success, Barrett led his tired troops back to Palmetto Hill, located at the bottom of a great loop in the Rio Grande. Here the Federal troops ate lunch, while their commander pondered his next move.

The future course of the battle, however, would be dictated by the Confederates. Answering a plea for reinforcements made by Captain Robinson, Colonel John S. “Rip” Ford assembled a force of 200 Rebel cavalry and a six-gun battery of artillery at Fort Brown, just outside of Brownsville. Early on May 13, Ford led his troops eastward. At 3 p.m. he reached the battlefield and immediately deployed his troops for an attack.
Sending several companies and two guns to turn the Federal flank and cut off their line of retreat to Brazos Island, the Confederate colonel next ordered a section of his artillery to open fire on the Federal troops around Palmetto Hill. Just as the battle commenced a steamboat was spotted coming up the Rio Grande toward Brownsville. Uncertain whether it carried Federal reinforcements, Ford ordered his gunners to fire on the boat. After the first round scored a near miss, a breeze unfurled a Mexican flag flying from the steamboat, identifying the ship as property of the King & Kennedy line which operated on the neutral Rio Grande waterway under the protection of Mexico.

Barrett’s force sighted the unexpected Rebel advance not a moment too soon. The Union commander deployed two companies of the 34th Indiana as skirmishers, and then, after some indecision, ordered the rest of his troops back to Palmetto Ranch and the road leading eastward. This left two skirmish companies of the 34th Indiana unsupported. Realizing the steamboat was no threat, and seeing the confusion in the Northern ranks, Ford ordered a frontal attack on the Union position. The charging Rebel cavalry overran and captured the Indiana skirmishers, as well as two companies of the 2nd Texas (U.S.) Barrett sent out as a rearguard. The Federal retreat was disorderly, but the Yankees managed to escape Ford’s effort to trap them in the river’s bend, although just barely.

From this point on the Federals engaged in a fighting withdrawal to Brazos Island. The 62nd U.S. Colored Troops fought well as the rearguard, fending off Ford’s constant pressure and allowing the Union troops to reach reinforcements a few miles from Brazos Island. Rebel reinforcements reached the scene as well, but darkness put an end to the fighting. On the night of May 13, Ford withdrew back to Palmetto Ranch. The next morning, Barrett’s troops pulled back onto Brazos Island. The battle had been a complete Confederate victory. Two Union soldiers had been killed, six wounded and 102 captured (two were listed as missing). Southern losses were five or six wounded, one of who died later.

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New in our gift shop a mini longhorn with museum dogtag. While we don’t currently have a online store items from our gift shop can be ordered over the phone or by email: info@tmfhf.com ...

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74 years ago on this date The T-Patch news declared "Victory" in Europe. This issue is the most common WWII T-Patch newspaper to survive the war because it was printed in large quantiles and many soldiers sent it home to their families right away.

How many of you with WWII 36th relatives have a copy of this issue? #otd #Victory

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Living History/Reenactment

Nothing brings military history to life like hearing the sound of a machine gun, the boom of cannon, the rattle of musketry, the drone of aircraft engines or feeling the earth shake under you while a tank drives by. All of these experiences are available to visitors courtesy of the Texas Military Forces Museum Living History Detachment which conducts a series of battle reenactments, demonstrations, displays, parades and living history programs throughout the year to make history “come alive” for young and old alike.

The primary focus of the detachment is the 36th Infantry Division in World War II and the famous Texas Brigade during the War Between the States. However, the detachment also participates in World War I and Vietnam War events as well as other time periods.

The museum’s living historians travel around the country to take part in historic events, but the backbone of their schedule are three programs that take place on Camp Mabry each year: the Close Assault 1944 living history program which occurs over Memorial Day weekend and Veterans Day weekend and the annual Texas Military Forces Open House – Muster Day event during April.

To get involved with the museum’s living history program, check out the G Company brochure or The Civil War brochure.

Our  Exhibits