About Fort Huachuca Arizona

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History of Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Sierra Vista is also home to Fort Huachuca, a national historic landmark and a modern army post headquartering the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, Army Communications Command and Army Electronic Proving Ground. Built in 1877, Ft. Huachuca's original Victorian-style officer's quarters are still in use.

In March 1877, Captain Samuel M. Whiteside and two companies of the 6th United States Cavalry established a camp at the mouth of Huachuca Canyon. This isolated camp had two missions: protect settlers in the area and stop Apache raiding parties from escaping into Mexico.

In 1882, the camp became a permanent station and was designated a "Fort." Soldiers constructed buildings of wood, stone and adobe. By 1886, Fort Huachuca became the advance headquarters for General Nelson A. Miles' campaign against Geronimo. Following Geronimo's surrender in August 1886, the threat of Apache depredations in the area subsided, and many of the frontier posts were closed. Yet, Fort Huachuca remained active because of its strategic location near the Mexican border and its low incidence of sickness. In the decades that followed, troops at Fort Huachuca were used in operations against other renegade Indians, Mexican bandits and American outlaws.

The all black 24th Infantry was the first entire regiment stationed at the Fort. The all black 10th Cavalry "Buffalo Soldiers" arrived in 1913, served in Pershing's punitive expedition against Pancho Villa in 1916, and helped guard the U.S.-Mexican border until 1931. (Pershing had been a junior officer with the 10th in the Philippines. His respect for these dedicated, if segregated, soldiers earned him the name "Black Jack.")

During World War II, the post population swelled to over 30,000 as two black Infantry Divisions, the 92nd and 93rd, trained here. With the departure of these units to the war zone, little activity remained, and at the end of the war the Post was declared surplus.

Shortly after the onset of the Korean War, Fort Huachuca was designated a training site for Engineer troops in the construction of military airfields. Libby Army Airfield resulted. At the end of the Korean War the Post once again fell into limbo.

In 1954, the Chief Signal Officer, United States Army, discovered southeastern Arizona ideal in area and climate for the testing of electronic and communications equipment. As a result, the U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground (EPG) reopened Fort Huachuca as an active Army Post. From that time on, the Post has steadily increased in importance as a vital contributor to the national defense.

Fort Huachuca was annexed by the City of Sierra Vista in 1972, and these two entities currently enjoy one of the most cordial relationships in the United States.