Southern New Mexico

Camp at Alamosa | Aleman Station | Camp Baird | Fort Bayard | Camp Bear Spring
Camp Blake | Camp Boyd | Camp at Burro Mts. | Camp near Cariso | Camp Carizallillo Spring
Camp Carrizaillo Spring |` Camp Carson | Camp Cloverdale | Camp Cody | Camp Cogswell
Post at Columbus | Camp Comfort | Camp Connelly | Fort Conrad
Station at the Copper Mines | Camp Cottonwood | Cottonwoods Ranch | Fort Craig
Fort Cummings | Camp at Fort Cummings | Camp Datil | Cantonment Dawson
Camp at Doņa Ana | Doņa Ana Post | Fort Fillmore | Fort Floyd | Camp Furlong | Gallinas
Camp Garland (2) | Cantonment Garland (1) | Post at Gila Copper Mines | Gila Depot
Camp near Guadalupe Mts. | Camp Hachita | Hay Camp | Camp Henley | Camp Hillsboro
Fort Hook | Camp Horse Springs | Camp Johnson | Camp La Hoya | Camp La Joya
Post at La Mesilla | Camp at Las Animas | Las Cruces Post | Lincoln Torreón | Fort McLane
Fort McLean | Fort McRae | Camp Maddox | Camp Magoffin | Camp at Mangues Ranch
Mason's Fort (2) | Fort Meigs | Mesilla Depot | Camp Mimbres | Mimbres Station
Camp Mischler | Camp Monument Springs | Camp Ojo Caliente | Post of Ojo Caliente
Old Stone Fortifications | Post at Paraje | Camp near Pinos Altos | Richmond Post
Camp on the Rio Gila | Rio Gila Depot | Camp on the Rio Mimbres | Camp Robbero
Camp Robledo | Robledo Post | Camp Roswell | Post at San Agustin Pass | San Isidoro Post
Camp at San Pedro | Fort Santa Rita del Cobre | Post at Santa Tomas | Camp Winfield Scott
Fort Selden | Camp Shannon | Camp Sherman | Post of Socorro | Fort Stanton | Fort Thorn
Fort Tularosa | Camp at Tularosa Valley | Camp Union | Camp Valverde | Post at Valverde
Camp Vincent | Fort Webster (1) | Fort Webster (2) | Fort Webster (3) | Fort Webster (4)
Fort Webster (5) | Fort West | Camp Wheeler | Fort Wheeler

1886 Heliograph Stations (NOT INDEXED)

Northern New Mexico - page 1


Last Update: 01/OCTOBER/2020
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - Đ2020 American Forts Network

Camp La Joya
(1846, 1862 - 1864), La Joya
Initially a U.S. Army Dragoon post, located in the wastelands of the "Jornada del Muerto" (Journey of Death) to protect the river crossing. Later intermittently occupied by the CA Volunteer Infantry. Also spelled La Hoya in some records.

Camp Connelly
(1862), Polvadera
A temporary encampment of NM Volunteers located on the then territorial governor Henry Connelly's ranch.

Post of Socorro
(1849 - 1851, 1862 - 1863, 1877 - 1881), Socorro
Initially a U.S. Army Dragoon post in rented quarters. The town was later occupied several times. Confederates occupied the town in February - March 1862 as a hospital post. The CA Volunteers later garrisoned the town in 1863.

Camp Bear Spring
(1858), near Magdalena
A temporary U.S. Army infantry encampment located about 10 miles north of town, about 25 miles northwest of Socorro, used in the Navajo Campaign. No remains.

Camp at San Pedro
(1863 - 1864), San Pedro
A temporary post occupied by CA Volunteer Infantry, located about 14 miles southeast of Socorro.

Camp Valverde
(1864), Val Verde
A temporary encampment of CA Volunteer Cavalry, located near the site of the February 1862 Battle of Valverde.

Fort Conrad
(1851 - 1854), near Val Verde
A U.S. Army Dragoon post on the west bank of the Rio Grande. Possibly originally named Post at Valverde in 1851. Replaced by Fort Craig about nine miles south, this site, renamed Hay Camp, was then later used to raise forage for the new post.

Camp near Cariso
(1858), near San Marcial
An Army outpost located north-northwest of Fort Conrad, at Cariso Spring, located at the southern base of Sierra Magdalena.

Fort Craig (National Historical Site)
(1854 - 1885), San Marcial
Built to protect the Santa Fe and El Paso Road from Navajo and Apache raids. Only adobe ruins remain, located in the Socorro Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management. This fort replaced Fort Conrad. See also NM Chapter, Sons of Confederate Veterans ||

Nearby was Camp Carson (between the fort and the river) and Camp Mischler (about one mile or so south of the fort), temporary overflow tent encampments for NM militia aiding in the defense of the fort in February 1862 against the Confederates. Confederate forces had encamped about four miles south of the fort.

Of interest nearby is the El Camino Real Historic Trail Site (State Historic Site) (admission fee).

Post at Paraje
(1862), Paraje, Socorro County
A Union (NM Volunteers) 45-man garrison post established after the 1862 Battles of Fort Craig and Valverde. Attacked by the CSA (Texas Cavalry) in May 1862. Located on the east bank of the Rio Grande, just north of the Socorro / Sierra County line.

Confederate forces had encamped near here in February 1862 just prior to the Battle of Valverde.

Camp Winfield Scott
(1860), near Corona
A U.S. Army encampment. Site located west of town.

(1861), Gallinas
The town was reportedly briefly occupied by Confederate troops in 1861, most likely in August by the same force that occupied Fort Stanton.

Camp Cogswell
(1860), near Carrizozo ?
A U.S. Army encampment located about 20 miles northwest of Fort Stanton.

Fort Stanton (State Historic Site)
(Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area)
(1855 - 1896), Fort Stanton
Originally Camp Garland (2), which consisted of two blockhouses surrounded by adobe walls. It was built to control the area's Apache tribes. Abandoned in August 1861 and briefly occupied by the Confederates for a few days, who then burned it down when they retreated from the area. The Union reoccupied it in 1862 and partially rebuilt it in 1868 with stone. Abandoned again and then rebuilt on a new site two miles north in 1869. The new post became the guardian of the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in 1871. The fort was later abandoned a final time and became a part of the Federal Public Health Service from 1899 to 1953. It was also used as a German and Italian POW camp in WWII. It became a state hospital until 1995, and then a state prison until 1999. It was then leased as a private drug rehab center until 2008. Several original stone buildings still remain, as well as others from later periods. A museum and visitor center is located on the grounds. The historic post of 27 acres became a NM State Monument in 2009, and the surrounding 1300 acres of undeveloped lands became part of the BLM's Snowy River Cave NCA. See also Legends of || Fort Stanton Kids

Lincoln Torreón
(Lincoln State Historic Site)
(1850's), Lincoln
A reconstructed (1937) civilian defensive stone tower (torreón), originally built by the local Hispanic settlers to protect against Apache raids. The town was originally named Las Placitas del Rio Bonito until 1869. Admission fee to historic sites. PHOTOS by Galen Frysinger

Fort Meigs
(unknown dates), San Patricio
No data. (same as below ?)

Old Stone Fortifications ? ?
(unknown dates), near San Patricio
Undetermined, possibly of Native American or Hispanic origin. Shown as named on an 1857 military map of New Mexico Territory, located about eight miles south-southwest of town, just north of Pajarito Spring, north of the present-day Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation boundary.

Camp Magoffin
(1854, 1863 - 1865), near Alto
A Union infantry post located west of town in the present White Mountain Wilderness Reserve.

Camp Roswell
(1878 - 1879), Roswell
A temporary U.S. Army post during the "Lincoln County War", garrisoned by the Buffalo Soldiers.

Camp Monument Springs
(1875), Monument
A temporary U.S. Army infantry post at a fresh water spring where a large stone monument was erected to aid future travelers through this region. Located about ten miles southwest of Hobbs.

Camp near Guadalupe Mountains
(1855), near Carlsbad
A U.S. Army encampment southwest of town.

Camp Comfort
(1858 - 1859), near White Sands
A temporary U.S. Army infantry post to watch over the Apache.

Fort McRae
(1863 - 1876/1884), near Elephant Butte
Initially a CA Volunteer Infantry post, located about three miles east of Rattlesnake Island and the main channel of Elephant Butte Lake, on the south side of McRae Canyon. The Army continued to hold the abandoned reservation until 1884 to allow travelers to use the river ford that led to the Palomas hot springs. Stone foundations of the adobe buildings still remain, now usually under the waters (when high) of Elephant Butte Reservoir (created in 1915). See also Fort McRae Emerges from US Bureau of Reclamation

Camp at Alamosa
(1861), Alamosa
A Union encampment, a subpost of Fort Craig, located on the Alamosa River at the Rio Grande, at the mouth of the Caņada Alamosa. Attacked and captured by Confederates in September 1861. The old townsite is now submerged under the waters of the Elephant Butte Reservoir.

Camp Ojo Caliente
(1859 - 1861, 1877 - 1882), near Monticello
An outpost of Fort Craig, located about 15 miles northwest of town on the east side of the Alamosa River, about where NM 52 crosses the river. Nine adobe buildings were built. Abandoned during the Civil War. Briefly occupied as the Warm Spring Apache Indian Agency on the Ojo Caliente Indian Reservation during the late 1860's. Regarrisoned by the Buffalo Soldiers during Apache troubles, renamed Post of Ojo Caliente. Attacked in 1879. Site is private property.

Camp Boyd
(1885 - 1886), Hillsboro
Originally called Camp Hillsboro, it was an Army supply base for other nearby posts. Also the site of a heliograph station during the Geronimo Campaign.

Camp Blake
(1856), near Salem
A U.S. Army Dragoon grazing camp located three miles north of Fort Thorn.

Fort Thorn
(1853 - 1859, 1862 - 1863), near Hatch
Originally called Cantonment Garland (1). Established by the garrison from abandoned Fort Webster (2). Abandoned in 1859 due to unhealthful conditions. The post hospital was left standing for the use of travelers. The Confederates briefly used the post in January - February 1862. Recaptured by the CA Volunteers in June 1862 but abandoned in 1863. No remains, site located by the river about two or three miles northwest of town, which was known as Santa Barbara at the time until 1875.

Camp Robbero
(1857), near Hatch
A U.S. Army encampment near Fort Thorn.

Fort Selden (State Historic Site)
(1865 - 1877, 1880 - 1891), near Radium Springs
A U.S. Army post that took over two years to construct. Abandoned after the railroad came through the area. It was reactivated in 1880 for border patrols. Became a subpost of Fort Bayard in 1890. Adobe ruins remain. Visitor center on site. Admission fee. See also
PHOTOS from Galen Frysinger

Minor subposts of Fort Selden in the late 1860's included San Agustin Pass near Organ, and a temporary detachment at Aleman Station, a stage station located along the "Jornada del Muerto" and the road to Fort McRae, north of Point of Rocks at the "Pond of the Aleman".

Robledo Post
(1772), near Radium Springs
A Spanish outpost was proposed near Mount Robledo, south of town, near the beginning of the "Jornada del Muerto" to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It was never actually established.

Camp Robledo
(1853, 1861 - 1863), near Radium Springs
Located near Mount Robledo, south of town. Intermittently occupied by both USA and CSA units during various Indian campaigns.

Doņa Ana Post
(Doņa Ana Historic District)
(1849, 1855 - 1856, 1861 - 1862), Doņa Ana
A U.S. Army Dragoon and infantry post to protect the river crossing (Camp at Doņa Ana), and later railroad surveyors in 1855. The town had marked the eastern terminus of the international boundary line (Gila River) between the United States and Mexico, west of the Rio Grande, before the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Confederates established a hospital here at the beginning of their New Mexico campaign in 1861.

Camp at Las Animas
(1854), near Doņa Ana
A temporary U.S. Army summer encampment near town.

San Isidoro Post
(1849 - 1850), San Isidoro
A temporary U.S. Army post located two miles north of Las Cruces, established to guard the international boundary as it was before the Gadsden Purchase (1853) relocated the boundary south to present-day Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Las Cruces Post
(Mesquite Historic District)
(1862 - 1863), Las Cruces
A Union quartermaster supply depot in rented structures, established after the Confederates retreated from the area.

Mason's Fort (2)
(1860's ?), near Las Cruces
A stage station and civilian trading post.

Post at La Mesilla
(La Mesilla Historic District)
(1861 - 1864), (La) Mesilla
This town became the Confederate capital of the short-lived CSA Territory of Arizona in August 1861, after Fort Fillmore was captured. The CA Volunteer Infantry then reoccupied the town in July 1862, and in rented quarters made this the headquarters of the Military District of Arizona. Also called Mesilla Depot.
See also History of Old Mesilla

Fort Fillmore
(1851 - 1862), Mesilla Park
A stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Used for operations against the Apache. In 1860 this fort was briefly commanded by a woman when the entire garrison, except for a sergeant and ten men, went on long patrol. The Confederates captured the fort without a fight in July 1861. Abandoned by the CSA in July 1862, then reoccupied by CA Volunteers before the post was abandoned in October 1862. Site was excavated in 1966-70, and 1987. Remnants of the adobe fort remain buried under a pecan tree grove at Salopek Farms (private property), after the state declined to accept the exposed ruins as a state park in the early 1970's. The post cemetery was found and excavated in 1999, and was dedicated and marked as an historic site in November 2001, although it too is located on closed private property. The channel of the Rio Grande was once situated between the fort and the town of Mesilla, but has since changed course. See also Looking for Fort Fillmore by Jim Reed

Post at Santa Tomas de Iturbide
(1854 - 1855), Santa Tomas
A temporary U.S. Army infantry post located just north of San Miguel. The camp site is now across the river from the village due to a past flood and course change.

Camp Johnson
(1854, 1862), near La Mesa
A temporary CA Volunteer Cavalry tent camp located on the west side of the Rio Grande, about 17 miles south of Fort Fillmore, at Johnson's Ranch. Originally a U.S. Army Dragoon post known in 1854 as Camp Cottonwood or Detachment at Cottonwoods Ranch.

Camp Furlong
(National Historic Landmark)
(Pancho Villa State Park)
(1916 - 1924), Columbus
Built by the U.S. Army to patrol the Mexican border. Known as Post at Columbus until 1918 when discontinued as a border patrol post. Attacked by Pancho Villa's forces in March 1916. The Army's airfield here was the first used in combat operations. Adobe ruins of several structures remain adjacent to and within Pancho Villa State Park. The Post Recreation Hall was restored in the 1980's. See also History of the Columbus Raid from New Mexico State University

Camp Carizallillo Spring
(1885), near Hermanas
A U.S. Army encampment. Located about 25 miles southeast of Hachita, in present Luna County, about five miles above the state border. Also spelled Carrizaillo.

Camp Hachita
(1886), Hachita
A heliograph station during the Geronimo Campaign.

Camp Shannon
(1917 - 1922), Hachita
Built by the U.S. Army for border patrols. Became a subpost of Camp Furlong in 1920.

Camp Cloverdale
(1882 - 1886), Cloverdale
A supply depot and base camp during the Geronimo Campaign.

Camp Henley
(1886), near Separ
A base camp and heliograph station during the Geronimo Campaign, located at the Soldiers Farewell Stage Station north of town.

Camp Baird
(1880's ? or 1890's ?), Deming
A temporary Army post just north of town. A heliograph station was located here during the Geronimo Campaign of 1886.

Camp Cody
(1917 - 1919), near Deming
A Federalized National Guard cantonment mobilization center and training area for the 34th Division, located two miles west of town. After the war became a Public Health Service Hospital for veterans until 1922, when transferred to the Sisters of the Holy Cross of Notre Dame. Burned down in 1938. Site now vacant land.

Fort Cummings
(1863 - 1873, 1880 - 1884, 1886), Cooke's Springs
Composed of several single-story adobe buildings surrounded by a 10-foot high adobe wall, it was built for the purpose of keeping New Mexico from joining the Confederacy, to control the Apache Indians, and to protect the Butterfield - Overland stage route and the road to California. The fort entered caretaker status in 1870 but was reoccupied later as Camp at Fort Cummings during Apache troubles, and was also used as a heliograph station. The Cooke's Springs Stage Station was first located here from 1858 to 1861. Adobe ruins of the fort remain partly on BLM managed land and also on adjacent private property.

Camp Mimbres
(1863 - 1864), near Dwyer
A CA Volunteer Cavalry supply depot and tent camp, also called Camp on the Rio Mimbres, located about two miles southwest of town. It protected the Mimbres River crossing and was a base of operations against the Indians in the nearby Florida Mountains.

Fort McLane
(1860 - 1861, 1862 - 1864), near Hurley
Camp Wheeler was originally established here to protect the local copper mines, located three and one-half miles south of town. It was soon redesignated Fort Wheeler, and then renamed Fort Floyd. It was proposed to be renamed Fort Webster (3) to avoid confusion with Camp Floyd in Utah, however, it was renamed Fort McLane in early 1861 (sometimes spelled McLean). It was then abandoned in July 1861 to reinforce Fort Fillmore. It was reoccupied intermittently from 1862 to 1864 by the CA Volunteers during the Apache Campaign. Trace remnants of adobe ruins still remain on private property (2-C Cattle Company Ranch).

Fort Bayard
(History of Fort Bayard)
(1866 - 1900/1922), Central
Intended to safeguard the local mines. Garrisoned by the Buffalo Soldiers. A heliograph station was located here in 1886. In 1900 the fort became a military hospital for troops coming home from the Cuba and Puerto Rico campaigns. In 1922 the hospital became part of the Public Health Service, later becoming a Veterans Administration Hospital. It was transferred to the state in 1966. Closed in 2010, slated for possible demolition. Guided tours of the abandoned facility were offered by the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society, where 81 buildings still stood on 468 acres (as of 2011). See also Historic Fort Bayard from Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce

Fort Santa Rita del Cobre
(1804 - 1838, 1851 - 1852), Santa Rita
A civilian Spanish/Mexican triangular adobe fort with three round towers to protect the Santa Rita copper mines. Built by Manuel Elguea. Repaired and garrisoned by Mexican troops in 1836. Abandoned after repeated Apache attacks. Occupied by an American Border Commission survey party in April 1851 and called Cantonment Dawson. Reoccupied and renamed by the U.S. Army in January 1852 as Post at Gila Copper Mines or Fort Webster (1). Replaced by Fort Webster (2) (see below). The last remaining adobe tower succumbed in the 1950's. Site located about two miles east of Hanover. No remains, now a modern open-pit copper mine operation. A down-sized replica of this fort is located in Pinos Altos. See also Historic Sites in Pinos Altos

Fort Webster (2)
(1852 - 1853, 1859 - 1860), San Lorenzo
Originally located at the Santa Rita copper mines 14 miles west of here at the site of Fort Santa Rita (above). The post moved in September 1852 to this location on the west bank of the Rio Mimbres, about one mile west of town. It was then abandoned in December 1853 for Fort Thorn. It was briefly reoccupied in 1859 as Station at the Copper Mines.

Fort Webster (4)
(1861), Mimbres
A Butterfield - Overland stage station originally known as Mimbres Station, it was briefly fortified by a Major (Sylvester ?) Mowry before he joined the Confederacy in 1861.

Fort Webster (5)
(1866), near Mimbres
A temporary post located at the headwaters of the Rio Mimbres, on the west bank, 15 miles north of Santa Rita. It is mentioned in Brig. General John Pope's 1866 Report, and featured on a 1877 map.

Camp near Pinos Altos
(1863 - 1864), Pinos Altos
A CA Volunteer Cavalry post to protect the local miners.

A heliograph station was located in the vicinity in 1886.

Located here in town is actually a replica of Fort Santa Rita / Webster (1) (see above).

Camp at Mangues Ranch
(1863), near Pinos Altos ?
Same as above ?

Camp at Burro Mountains
(1853, 1859), near Tyrone
A U.S. Army temporary encampment. A rock corral and dugout remnants are on site (private property), located about 10 miles south of town.

Fort Hook was proposed to be built in the vicinity in 1860, but it was not approved by the War Department.

Fort West
(1863 - 1864), near Gila
Built by the CA Volunteer Cavalry during the Apache Campaign. Intended to help safeguard local miners at Pinos Altos. Located on the south side of the Gila River, just north of town.

Gila Depot
(1857, 1863), near Cliff
A supply base during Col. Benjamin Bonneville's expedition against the Apaches, located about three miles south of town on the south side of the river. Also called Depot on the Rio Gila, Rio Gila Depot, and Camp on the Rio Gila. In 1863 the site was occupied by CA Volunteer Cavalry prior to the establishment of Fort West about five miles north.
(NOTE: not to be confused with Gila Depot (1867) in ARIZONA)

Located one mile downstream and on the opposite bank of the Depot was the troop encampment Camp Union (1857).

Richmond Post
(1882 - 1883), Virden
A U.S. Army infantry scout camp. The town was known as Richmond until 1916.

Camp Vincent
(1879), near Gila Hot Springs
Located in southern Catron County, northeast of town about 100 yards southwest from the juction of Beaver Creek, Taylor Creek, and the East Fork Gila River. Established to defend against Apache raids.

Camp Sherman
(1879), near Beaverhead
An Army supply depot. Located in southern Catron County, northeast of Gila Hot Springs, on Taylor Creek near Adobe Ranch at the headwaters of Corduroy Canyon.

Camp Maddox
(1885 - 1886), near Alma
A U.S. Army cavalry encampment during Apache chief Geronimo's uprising. A heliograph station was also here in 1886. Located on private property about four miles north of town, on the west side of US 180.

Fort Tularosa
(1872 - 1874), near Aragon
A U.S. Army infantry post located on the south bank of Tularosa Creek, about one-half mile north of town, 15 miles northeast of Reserve, to protect the new Apache Indian Agency. Before the military post was finished, the Indian Agency moved to a new site on Horse Creek at Old Horse Springs, about 18 miles east. The military post was finally withdrawn when the Apache returned to the Ojo Caliente Reservation near Monticello. No remains, site is private property.

Located in the vicinity in 1863 was Camp at Tularosa Valley.

Camp Horse Springs
(1874), Old Horse Springs
A proposed Army post to guard the Apache Indian Agency that was just moved from Tularosa Creek (see above), but the Agency was moved again to Ojo Caliente before construction here was begun.

Camp Datil
(1885 - 1886), Datil
A temporary U.S. Army cavalry and infantry scout post located one and one-half miles north of town on Datil Creek. No remains.

U.S. Army Heliograph Stations
(1886, 1889 - 1890), various locations
The U.S. Army employed heliograph signalling devices to flash coded messages (Morse or Myer) with mirrors across southern New Mexico and Arizona during the 1886 campaign (May-September) by General Nelson Miles to capture Apache chief Geronimo and his band of followers. Heliograph stations were located in those areas where the telegraph had not yet been wired, and were usually situated on treed summits to enhance the contrast of the flashing mirror against the dark forest backdrop and the natural light of the sky. The camps consisted of a ramada-type brush structure which sheltered usually five to eight men, and held a 30-day supply of food in case of an attack. The 14 heliograph stations within New Mexico (from a September 1886 summary) were located at the following sites:
Alma (Camp Maddox)
Siggen's Ranch, south of Pleasanton.
Lydia Springs (Mule Springs), near Mule Creek.
White House, east of Mule Creek.
Pinos Altos
Fort Bayard, at Central.
Camp Henley, north of Separ.
Stein's Bluff Pass (or Steins Peak) (station elevation 5250 feet), near Steins, one-half mile north of the railroad.
Hachita Mining Camp (Camp Hachita)
Lockhart's Well, southeast of Deming.
Fort Cummings, at Cooke's Springs.
Lake Valley, Sierra County, about 20 miles south of Hillsboro.
Hillsboro (Camp Boyd), possibly at or near Hillsboro Peak ?

The following eight additional stations were added later in 1889-90 (December-May) (after the Geronimo Campaign) when the Army undertook testing of a much larger heliograph network to evaluate the effectiveness of a heliograph communications system.
San Andreas (San Andres Peak ?)
Sierra Blanca (Peak ?)
Fort Stanton
Dripping Spring
Fort McRae

Northern New Mexico - page 1

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