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.

Visit The Museum


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

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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


Today is the Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto and a State holiday in Texas.The Battle of San JacintoPreludeOn April 20, 1836 the Texian and Mexican armies converged on the McCormick Ranch at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River near Lynch’s Ferry. Sam Houston had 1,000 men and two cannon camped in heavy woods along the bayou. General Santa Anna, leading a column of 700 troops, arrived near the Texian position at mid-morning. At 1 p.m. he tried to lure Houston into a battle, but only managed to provoke a cavalry skirmish.Santa Anna, having ordered his widely scattered army to concentrate in the area prior to a decisive showdown with the Texas rebels, was unwilling to attack before reinforcements reached the scene. Houston, for his part, was determined to pick the perfect moment to strike. That night the Mexican Army slept in line of battle, while Houston’s waited in camp. The Dawn of San JacintoOn the morning of April 21, Santa Anna, although aware the Texians were nearby, seemed unconcerned. He ordered the construction of a crude breastwork to protect his single cannon and kept his battalions in the line of battle laid out the night before. At 9 a.m., General Cós arrived with 500 troops to strengthen Santa Anna’s force. With his arrival, any fear of a Texian attack vanished. Santa Anna told Cós to rest his men behind the battle line and then, along with the rest of the army, took his ease.The Texians were far busier. Houston had deliberately placed his army in a position – surrounded by Buffalo Bayou, the San Jacinto River and Santa Anna – from which it could not easily escape. Lynch’s Ferry would prove too slow a means of egress and Houston had Deaf Smith burn the only bridge along the one remaining path of potential retreat.The Texas general knew his men were frustrated with their long retreat and eager to fight. Purposely he acted as though he did not intend to do battle – angering his impetuous volunteers even further. Aware that his men, although brave, were barely trained and vulnerable to panic should the day go against them, Houston coolly worked his soldiers into a fever pitch while making sure they knew defeat would lead to their slaughter if they attempted to flee from an inescapable trap. Eighteen MinutesOnce certain his men knew their only option for survival was victory, Houston ordered an attack. At 4 p.m., after eating dinner, the Texian Army formed line of battle. The 2nd Infantry Volunteer Regiment under Colonel Sidney Sherman took position on the left of the Texian line, its flank resting on marsh land bordering the river. The 1st Infantry Volunteer Regiment, led by Colonel Edward Burleson, was posted to Sherman’s right. Houston’s only artillery – two 6-pounder cannon nicknamed the Twin Sisters – held the center of the line. To their right were four companies of Texas Regulars under Lieutenant Henry Millard. Captain Mirabeau Lamar’s 60 cavalrymen took position some distance to the southeast, ready to slam into the Mexican left flank.Shortly after 4 p.m. the Texian Army swept out of the woods, each company in column formation, a small band playing “Come to the Bower” and “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” Reaching a slight depression, Houston ordered his troops from column into line while still out of sight of the lounging Mexicans. Minutes later the Texian line went forward. Sherman’s men making first contact with Santa Anna’s line in some woods near the river. Belatedly aware they were under attack, Mexican buglers sounded the alarm, but it was already too late.The Twin Sisters galloped ahead of the line, unlimbered and opened fire. The Mexican troops were caught completely by surprise. None were in line of battle. The cavalrymen had unsaddled their horses and Santa Anna was asleep in his tent. As the Texian infantry surged eastward, the Twin Sisters were pushed further forward and brought back into action. Sam Houston was out front, mounted on a large white horse, urging his men on.As the Mexican infantry scrambled to form a line of battle, Santa Anna’s lone cannon – a 12-pounder – opened fire and a Mexican battalion attempted to attack the Twin Sisters only to be beaten back. An enemy volley wounded Houston in the ankle, killing his horse at the same time, but his men moved steadily onward. At a distance of 40 yards the Texian line halted, fired a volley, and then charged. Lamar’s cavalry rushed the Mexican left flank.In the face of this assault the half-formed Mexican battle line came apart. Santa Anna’s troops – exhausted from marching or standing guard throughout the previous night – mentally and physically unprepared for the fury of the unexpected Texian onslaught, broke and fled. Terrified fugitives disrupted Cos’ units coming up to reinforce the front line, and his men became infected with the panic and fled as well. Santa Anna, despairing of rallying his shattered command, grabbed an aide’s horse and joined the retreat. The entire battle – from first shot to last – had lasted a mere 18 minutes.Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Once the Texians overran the meager Mexican defenses, they swarmed after the routed Mexican Army. All the anger and frustration of a long retreat, in addition to fury at Mexican atrocities at Goliad and the Alamo, fueled the Texian pursuit. Shouting, “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” Houston’s enraged troops gave no quarter – killing any Mexican soldier they could catch. Desperate to escape, the forlorn mass that minutes before had been an army, ran headlong into impassable marshes and Peggy’s Lake. Floundering in the water and mud, the Mexicans became easy targets and Texians overcome by blood lust, shot, clubbed and bayoneted at will.Houston, fearing the arrival of possible Mexican reinforcements would destroy his now thoroughly disorganized army, tried to halt the pursuit; but neither his officers nor men headed orders. Fortunately, no Mexican force was at hand to redeem the day. By the time the shooting was over, some 600 Mexicans were dead and another 600 captured. Santa Anna’s entire force had been wiped out. The Texians suffered only 30 killed or wounded.No battle in history produced more decisive consequences than San Jacinto. On April 22, Santa Anna was captured by Texians. While a prisoner, he would sign treaties granting Texas its independence and ordering his remaining forces to retreat back to Mexico. ...
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Just received 3 panoramic photographs today from 1922. This is half of one of those pictures showing Camp Mabry looking towards the southeast. The Capital dome is visible on the horizon just to the right of center, and the University of Texas at Austin is visible in the center horizon. On the Camp Mabry ground you can see numerous rifle pits which have been dug in the soil. ...
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The funeral for Tsgt Charles Coolidge, Medal of Honor Recipient from the 36th Infantry Division. The current commander of the 72nd Brigade, Col. Jose Rivera presented the coffin flag to Coolidge's eldest son. ...
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Rattlesnake Roundup- This pictures is from a recent collection of images taken by Earl Drew of soldiers with the 143rd Infantry Regiment during annual training in 1939 or 1940. Also gotta love those pith helmets. ...
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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