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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Garland in Costilla County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Fort Garland / Buffalo Soldiers

 
 
Fort Garland Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
1. Fort Garland Marker
Top portion of the marker

Click on photo to view historic photos and to read captions.
Inscription.
Front
The Soldier’s Life
Fort Garland housed infantry and cavalry units. During the 1870’s the famed Buffalo Soldiers—African-American cavalrymen—were also posted here. For all soldiers—and their families—life at Fort Garland was often dull, sometimes dangerous, but never easy. A civilian who visited the post remarked that despite its remoteness “frontier life suggests a poetic expansiveness, but to the soldier it usually involves a career of humdrum routine.

To protect the valley's Hispanic settlers against Indian attacks, the U.S. Army established Fort Massachusetts in 1852 near Blanca Peak, which towers just north of here. But the fort was too remote to be effective, so in 1858 the Army put up a new post -- Fort Garland -- a portion of which you see immediately across the road. Built largely of adobe, the new fort stood guard over the San Luis Valley and its people until abandoned in 1883. The Colorado Historical Society invites you to visit Fort Garland, which has been preserved as a museum.

Reverse

 
Erected 1996 by Colorado Historical Society and the DOT Colorado. (Marker Number 190.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the
Fort Garland Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
2. Fort Garland Marker
Bottom portion of the marker

Click on photo to view historic photos and to read captions.
Buffalo Soldiers, and the History Colorado marker series.
 
Location. 37° 25.433′ N, 105° 25.901′ W. Marker is in Fort Garland, Colorado, in Costilla County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 159, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29477 CO-159, Fort Garland CO 81133, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Garland (within shouting distance of this marker); Costilla County Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); "The Magic Dog" (approx. 10.1 miles away); On Sacred Ground (approx. 10.1 miles away); Welcome "Caminante" to ... (approx. 10.1 miles away); ... Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway (approx. 10.1 miles away); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (approx. 10.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  The Story of Fort Garland. Fort Garland was build of adobe in a plaza format as was typical of the surrounding villages. It was named for Brevet Brigadier General John Garland, then in command of the Department of New Mexico. Built on land that was part of the Sangre de Cristo Grant, leased by the United States government, the fort was established primarily to protect settlers from Indian resistance. It had accommodations
Fort Garland Museum Sign at the Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
3. Fort Garland Museum Sign at the Entrance
for two companies of an approximate strength of two officers and one hundred enlisted men.
(Submitted on January 6, 2014.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansForts, CastlesNative AmericansWars, US Indian
 
Fort Garland Parade Ground and Surrounding Buildings image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
4. Fort Garland Parade Ground and Surrounding Buildings
Fort Garland-Buffalo Soldiers Building image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
5. Fort Garland-Buffalo Soldiers Building
Fort Garland Museum-Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
6. Fort Garland Museum-Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army
Fort Garland Museum-Who Were the Buffalo Soldiers image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
7. Fort Garland Museum-Who Were the Buffalo Soldiers
After four years of bloody civil war, Americans again pursued westward expansion. Plains Indians fiercely resisted the invasion of their homes and hunting grounds, and in 1866 Congress authorized recruitment of African American soldiers to secure the isolated outposts of the western frontier.
Fort Garland-Buffalo Soldiers image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
8. Fort Garland-Buffalo Soldiers
Post Commander's Office image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 1, 2008
9. Post Commander's Office
In charge of numerous troops and their families, the commandant had broad responsibilities. This room is partially furnished as a military office of the period. Here the officer held open house for staff and visitors and met with official guests. This scene depicts the meeting of Carson and Ute chief Ouray.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 474 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Full view of the marker and photo of reverse side and provide text. • Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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