Troop C, 9th Cavalry, at Camp Lawton, Washington, before being sent to the Philippines in 1900.
T. Preiser, Special Collection, Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

In 1776, the Spanish came to San Francisco Bay to establish an outpost in western North America. The Presidio of San Francisco was under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control in 1846. For 148 years the U.S. Army transformed windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant military post.

African Americans have fought in every war dating back to the Revolutionary. After the Civil War, African Americans could enlist in the Regular Army. They became known as "Buffalo Soldiers" there after. During the Spanish and Philippine Wars all four Buffalo Soldier' regiments were garrisoned in San Francisco.

The lives of soldiers and military men extended beyond the battlefield. They had families, or women in their lives that were experiencing war and military life at home. The first women in the Army were nurses and the U.S. Army General Hospital in the Presidio, was the first to employ them. Congress established the Army Nurse Corps in 1901.


Soldiers of Golden Gate

Last updated: February 14, 2022

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