• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

East Cantonment

Building 563 of the East Cantonment
In 1903 barracks were constructed in the East Cantonment to house soldiers in transit to and from the Philippines. Buffalo Soldier units may have temporarily stayed in Building 563.
 

The East Cantonment* was an area in the southeastern Presidio where troops were quartered temporarily as they rotated through the Presidio on their way to and from duty in the Philippine Islands during the 1898 Spanish American War, the following Philippine War, and in the early 1900s after these conflicts. All of the Buffalo Soldier regiments passed through this area in transit during those years. Initially troops camped here in tents, and then barracks were constructed in 1903 to house primarily those returning from the Philippines. Only three of these barracks remain today; one is shown above. Buffalo Soldiers may have stayed in one of the remaining buildings, but there are no records of who stayed where.

There is also an outdoor exhibit panel interpreting the Buffalo Soldiers at the Presidio located here on Lombard Street near the Lombard Gate.

* Pronounced: "kan-TONment". Cantonment is an old British Army term, first used by troops in India.

 
Iowa troops awaiting deployment in Spanish American War, 1898
The East Cantonment area in 1898.
 

Did You Know?

The Officers' Club at the Presidio

The modern-day Officers' Club was part of the original Spanish Presidio. In the front section of the building, excavations have uncovered adobe walls dating from the 1790's.