Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings
Fort Bayard (1866-1900), established by General Carleton's California Volunteers at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains in southwestern New Mexico to protect the Pinos Altos mining district from Apache depredations, was a key post in the Apache Wars (1861-86), particularly the 1879-80 campaign against Victorio. The fort was less than a year old when it suffered the first of numerous Apache attacks. In 1900, when the post's military days ended, the Army utilized it as a tuberculosis hospital. Between 1922 and 1965 the Veterans' Administration had jurisdiction. In the latter year, retaining control of the cemetery, it transferred the rest of the property to the State of New Mexico for use as a hospital.
Expansion, remodeling, and modernization by the Veterans' Administration obliterated the old fort, except for occasional overgrown foundations. Modern hospital buildings flank the former parade ground. The houses along what was once officers' row, now designated doctors' row, were built on the foundations of the officers' quarters. The only major vestige of the old post is the cemetery, on a hill overlooking the site. The burials date back to the early days of Fort Bayard.
NHL Designation: 03/19/04
Last Updated: 19-Aug-2005