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[photo] [photo] The Quadrangle (above) and Pershing House (below), Fort Sam Houston
Photos courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey, photographer David J. Kaminsky
Fort Sam Houston was established in the 1870s, on 40 acres of land acquired from the City of San Antonio. The fort has been the focal point for military operations in Texas and most of the Southwest United States since 1879. The original mission of the troops stationed at Fort Sam Houston was to pursue an aggressive peacekeeping policy along the U.S.-Mexico border. In 1886, Geronimo, Chief Natchez, and their band of Apaches were detained for 40 days in the fort's Quadrangle complex following their surrender to U.S. Army forces. In 1898 the fort served as a rendezvous for Col. Leonard Wood and Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders," before their departure for Cuba during the Spanish American War. The fort also supplied the men and materials for Brig. Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's campaign against Pancho Villa in 1916. In addition, Fort Sam Houston saw the beginnings of the Army Air Corps and the Airborne Infantry. The fort has expanded greatly over the years and today contains many historic buildings and properties. Among the most notable are The Quadrangle (the original fort), consisting of the post's oldest building and a watch tower; The Pershing House (building #6), an irregularly shaped two-story house built in 1881 and serving as the Staff Post Commander's house; and the Artillery Post and Calvary Post Barracks, large two-and-one-half-story brick barracks built between 1905 and 1908 to house troops stationed at the fort. Fort Sam Houston is still an active military post and is currently the headquarters of the Fifth Army.

Fort Sam Houston, a National Historic Landmark, is located between I-35 and the Harry Wurzbach Highway. Maps and self-guiding tour information are available at the Quadrangle at 1400 E. Grayson St. The fort's museum, located at 2310 Stanley Rd., is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm; non-military visitors must use the Walters Street entrance. For further information, call 210-221-1886 or visit the museum's website. Several of the fort's sites have also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.

  

 

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