Fort Buchanan (Arizona)


Fort Buchanan (1856-61) was built to supplement a number of other military posts established in the territory acquired from Mexico in 1848.

Fort Buchanan was the first within the bounds of the Gadsden Purchase (1853). First founded as Camp Moore, but renamed Fort Buchanan in honor of President James Buchanan, the post protected settlers and stages from Chiricahua Apaches.

A detachment from the post, led by Lieutenant George N. Bascom, was involved in the episode with Cochise at Apache Pass that precipitated the Apache Wars (1861-86).

At the beginning of the Civil War, U.S. troops were withdrawn to New Mexico and to keep it from falling into Confederate hands, it was destroyed in July, 1861.

The following year, General Carleton’s California Volunteers occasionally camped at the site. To aid in the renewed effort against the Apaches, the post was reactivated as  Camp Crittenden (1868-73) on a hill about one-half mile to the east.

Today, the privately owned sites of Fort Buchanan and  Camp Crittenden are used for grazing. The only remains are scattered rocks. mounds of earth, and fragmented adobe ruins.

Fort Buchanan, Arizona was located three miles west of present day Sonoita, Arizona on the east slope of what is now called “Hog Canyon.” Camp Crittenden was established half a mile east on the flats.