Fort Huachuca is a splendid U.S. Army base located in the far south-east corner of the state of Arizona. It is a mere 18 kilometers from the U.S. – Mexican border and on most daysm on any high ground on post, you can see the peaks of (the Santa Cruz) mountains shimmering purple . It is also a mere 20 miles (as the buzzard flies) to the notorious town of Tombstone (home of the OK Corral). For the last several decades it has been an active duty Army base and headquarters of the U.S. Army Intelligence Command, 11th Signal Brigade (1966 to 2013), Electronic Proving Ground and many other organizations.
It’s history as a valued piece of military real estate goes back to 1877 when the 6th Cavalry used the mountain draws and streams as a shelter and base during their operations against the Apaches. In 1882 it was designated a military fort and from there it quickly grew into one of the more important military posts in the southwest. This was largely due to it’s year round water supply and relatively mild temperatures. Other forts north and west of Fort Huachuca did not fare well and were continually harassed by the Apaches and actually deemed unhealthy and unsanitary for habitation. Fort Buchanan, near Sonoita was abandoned in the late 1860’s. It was rebuilt after the Civil War a half mile away and rechristened Fort Crittenden but that too was abandoned in 1873.
Fort Huachuca is mentioned every now and then in western literature that is set in Arizona (Elmore Leonard comes to mind). For the history buffs out there I’ve uploaded several e-books on Fort Huachuca that you might find interesting. These provide unique insights into soldier life on the frontier and the campaign against the Apaches. You can find these documents and more history on the fort at their official history website. The map above came from FortWiki.
NOTE: While in the Army I lived on Fort Huachuca for over almost five years and probably spent another year there if I added adding up the time spent attending various schools, conferences, and training events. I think SE Arizona has the most wonderful weather in the country and the scenery is simply awe inspiring and I have cherished memories of “Old Fort Hoochie-coochie” that have been with me ever since.