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Arizona Flag - Legends of the High Desert IconARIZONA LEGENDS

Arizona Forts of the American West

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Camp Crittenden

Camp Date Creek

Camp Hualapai

Fort Apache
Fort Breckinridge (old Camp Grant)
Fort Buchanan

Fort Bowie
Fort Buchanan

Fort Canby

Fort Defiance

Fort Goodwin

Fort Grant

Fort Lowell
Fort Huachuca
Fort Lowell

Fort McDowell

Fort Meeks/Lee's Ferry

Fort Mojave

Fort Thomas

Fort Verde
Fort Whipple
San Xavier del Bac Mission



Officers; quarters at Fort Defiance, Arizona, Simeon Schwemberger, 1905.

This image available for photographic prints

 and downloads HERE!



"It has been my aim throughout present

 operations to afford the greatest amount of protection

 to life and property interests, and troops have

 been stationed accordingly."


-- General George Crook


Davidson Canyon, ArizonaCamp Crittenden (1867-1873) - Named for Colonel Thomas L. Crittenden, who commanded the 32nd Infantry at the battles of Shiloh, Stone River, and Chickamauga during the Civil War, the fort was established on August 10, 1867. Located at the head of Davidson Canyon, just west of present-day Sonoita, Arizona, Camp Crittenden was built adjacent to the site of Fort Buchanan. The purpose of the fort was to protect settlers in the Babocomar, Sonoita, and Santa Cruz Valleys, and saw much action during the Apache Wars especially between the years 1870 and 1871. The fort was closed on June 1, 1873. Very little remains of this post; mostly crumbling adobe and mounds of earth that were once barracks walls. It is located on private land in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.

Camp Date Creek (1867-1874) - First established as Camp McPherson in January, 1867, the camp was a temporary post and its purpose was to guard the road between Prescott and La Paz, Arizona. Unlike many Arizona forts, Camp McPherson was situated in a an area of beauty, with meadows and tall grasses along a creek called Date Creek, because of the abundance of yucca, or wild dates, in the area. The post was named for Brigadier General James B. McPherson who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. Its initial service was short lived as just a few months later, it was moved north some 25 miles and renamed Camp Skull Valley in March. However, it was returned to its original located in May, and renamed Camp Date Creek. By 1868, two companies of the 14th infantry were stationed at the post, but legend has it, they initially spent more time fixing buildings and prospecting in the area, than they did fighting Indians. However, that changed, when the first recorded skirmish that took place in September, 1869, and afterwards was followed by a number of Indian attacks. The post was moved two more times along Date Creek during its existence. In 1871, a temporary Indian Reservation was located near the post.

In 1874, the Secretary of War restored the lands to the public domain, saying that the post was of no use for military purposes. The buildings were then used by settlers for the next several years. Today a few original building walls still stand and an old cemetery is located at the site. However, the cemetery graves are civilian as the soldiers’ remains were moved to the Presidio in San Francisco, California. The site is located sixty miles southwest of Prescott, Arizona in Yavapai County, north of US Highway 89 in the Date Creek vicinity.


Camp Hualapai MarkerCamp Hualapai (1869-1873) – First known as Camp Toll Gate, this post was established in May, 1869, just southeast of Aztec Pass on William H. Hardy’s toll road between Prescott and Hardyville (which eventually developed into Bullhead City.) In 1870, it was taken over by the military to protect the road from Indian attacks, but the troops abandoned the camp in 1873. A small settlement that grew up around the camp became known as Juniper. Today there are just a very few remnants and a small cemetery, but both are located on private property. The site is located on Walnut Creek Road north of Prescott, Arizona


Fort Apache - See full article HERE.


Fort Breckinridge (old Camp Grant) - See full article HERE.


Fort Bowie - See full article HERE.


Fort Buchanan (1856-61) - Supplementing a number of other military posts established in the territory acquired from Mexico in 1848, Fort Buchanan (1856-61) was the first within the bounds of the Gadsden Purchase (1853). First founded as Camp Moore, but renamed Fort Buchanan in honor of President James Buchanan, the post protected settlers and stages from Chiricahua Apaches. A detachment from the post, led by Lieutenant George N. Bascom, was involved in the episode with Cochise at Apache Pass that precipitated the Apache Wars (1861-86). At the beginning of the Civil War, U.S. troops were withdrawn to New Mexico and to keep it from falling into Confederate hands, it was destroyed in July, 1861. The following year, General Carleton's California Volunteers occasionally camped at the site. To aid in the renewed effort against the Apaches, the post was reactivated as Camp Crittenden (1868-73) on a hill about one-half mile to the east. Today, the privately owned sites of Fort Buchanan and Camp Crittenden are used for grazing. The only remains are scattered rocks. mounds of earth, and fragmented adobe ruins. Fort Buchanan, Arizona was located three miles west of present day Sonoita, Arizona on the east slope of what is now called "Hog Canyon." Camp Crittenden was established half a mile east on the flats.


Fort Defiance - See full article HERE.

Fort Goodwin (1864-1871) – One of the first posts in the area, Fort Goodwin was established in June, 1864 by California Volunteers to provide protection for settlers in the Gila Valley. Located near a beautiful spring about two miles south of the Gila River, the post was named for John N. Goodwin, the first Territorial Governor of Arizona. From the beginning, the post faired poorly due to unethical contractors, whose adobe buildings began to crumble in just a few short years. In the spring of 1866, the California Volunteers were relieved by two companies of the 14th U.S. Infantry and later that year, the post’s designation was changed from fort to camp.

Another problem that plagued Fort Goodwin were malaria-carrying mosquitoes that swarmed from a spring about 500 yards south of the post. Though the spring produced good water, it unfortunately ran through a stagnant swampy area before it reached the post.  Finally, sickness and disease became so prevalent that the post was abandoned in March, 1871. During the 1880s a sub-agency of the San Carlos Reservation was located at or near the site.

Today nothing remains of the post, which is situated on farmland. The only physical marker is a Bureau of Land Management survey marker which indicates the original site of the fort’s flagpole.

Fort Grant - See full article HERE.


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