Military History

Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista will give you a great example of western military history. Home to the venerated Buffalo Soldiers, Fort Huachuca is one of the most important military outposts in the American Southwest. Much of Arizona’s history of conflicts and victories can be relived here. Enjoy Fort Huachuca’s museums* with displays of the Apache WarsPershing's expedition and much more.

Fort Bowie National Historic Site was the staging ground for U.S. soldiers who pursued Geronimo, deep into the hills of the Chiricahuas. And you won't want to miss Cochise Stronghold, where you can explore the rocky nooks and mountain hideaways of the legendary Apache leader Cochise. The U.S. Cavalry often chased him, and this is the land in which he hid. Native American folklore also says he’s buried here.

Fort/Camp Rucker

Fort Rucker, or Camp Rucker, is a former United States Army post in Cochise County, Arizona. First known as Camp Supply and Camp Powers, its name was changed on October 1, 1878 in honor of Lieutenant John Anthony "Tony" Rucker.[1] On July 11, 1878, Lieutenant Rucker died in an unsuccessful attempt to save the life of a fellow soldier, Lieutenant Austin Henley,[2] when the two tried to cross a nearby river which had swelled following a rainstorm

The camp was initially built to protect settlers in the area, and also housed mounted cavalry units.

On July 21, 1880, six mules were stolen from the Camp Rucker stables, allegedly by William "Curly Bill" Brocius and two others. The mules were later discovered on the ranch of Tom and Frank McLaury after a search by Lieutenant J. H. Hurst, Virgil Earp, and Earp's deputies.[4]

During the 1880s, Camp Rucker became Fort Rucker. It was one of the more important military stations in the campaign against the Apache tribes led by Geronimo and Cochise. A small community grew up around the fort, as the military method of obtaining necessary supplies was through civilian contractors. It was abandoned by 1890.[5]

The remnants of Camp Rucker are located on United States Forest Service land today. Officers' quarters, a bunkhouse, a sheltered latrine, a commissary warehouse, and a bakery are still standing. The site is adjacent to the south side of the Chiricahua Wilderness in the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest; walk-in public access is permitted. Rucker Canyon and Rucker Lake are sites of popular Forest Service campgrounds, and in the summer a firefighting crew is stationed at a nearby administrative site.

*Note: Fort Huachuca is an active military installation. Visitor passes for U.S. citizens are available at the front gate with a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of vehicle insurance or rental agreement. Each passenger age 16 and older must also have a photo ID. Fort Huachuca is occasionally closed for maneuvers. International visitors are not permitted access, unless they are sponsored and escorted by authorized personnel.

More Cochise County Origins:
Native Americans and Apaches
Mexican and Hispanic Influence
Old West and Ranching
Geology and Mining

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