Camp Date Creek, Arizona

 

Camp Date Creek, Arizona ruins by Chris Bauer, Google Maps

Camp Date Creek, Arizona ruins by Chris Bauer, Google Maps

Camp Date Creek, Arizona was 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 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 location 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 took place in September 1869, and afterward 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 60 miles southwest of Prescott, Arizona in Yavapai County, north of US Highway 89 in the Date Creek vicinity.

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Arizona Forts

Arizona – The Grand Canyon State

Forts Across America

Forts & Presidios Photo Gallery

1 thought on “Camp Date Creek, Arizona”

  1. My great-great-great grandfather William Yaw was stationed at Camp Date Creek with the 7th Indian Fighters (i believe?) from 1867-1870. I also have an 8×10 picture of him in his full calvary uniform complete wuth sam brown buckle, the whole 9 yards. I also have a letter written to my great grand aunt in Prescott Az. in 1969 from the board of the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe, ( serving on the board of directors at the time was Barry Goldwater) , giving a summary of Pvt Yaw. Such as where he was from, where he returned after his discharge, & some facts about his (our) family.

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