Fort Wingate

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Apache Scouts visiting Fort Wingate during the 1880s.
Fort Wingate
McKinley County, near Gallup, New Mexico
(144)Fort Wingate, New Mexico (shows the fort and houses) - NARA - 517785.tif
Fort Wingate in the 1870s
Coordinates 35°06′45″N 107°52′58″W / 35.112466°N 107.882652°W / 35.112466; -107.882652
Site information
Controlled by  New Mexico
Condition ammunition depot, storage facility
Site history
Built 1862
Built by  United States
In use 1862 - 1993
Battles/wars Apache Wars
Navajo Wars
Garrison information
Past
commanders
Kit Carson
William Redwood Price
Garrison Navajo Scouts
Apache Scouts
4th Cavalry
8th Cavalry
9th Cavalry and 13th Infantry
15th Infantry
Occupants United States Army
Fort Wingate Historic District
Fort Wingate is located in New Mexico
Fort Wingate
Fort Wingate is located in the US
Fort Wingate
Location NM 400, Fort Wingate, New Mexico
Area 27 acres (11 ha)
Built 1868 (1868)
NRHP Reference # 78003076[1]
NMSRCP # 403
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 26, 1978
Designated NMSRCP August 22, 1975

Fort Wingate is near Gallup, New Mexico. There were two other locations in New Mexico which were called Fort Wingate: Seboyeta, New Mexico (1849-1862) and San Rafael, New Mexico (1862-1868).[2] The most recent Fort Wingate (1868-1993) was established at the former site of Fort Lyon, on Navajo territory, initially to control and "protect" the large Navajo tribe to its north. The Fort at San Rafael was the staging point for the Navajo deportation known as the Navajo's Long Walk. From 1870 onward the garrison near Gallup was concerned with Apaches to the south, and through 1890 hundreds of Navajo Scouts were enlisted at the fort.

Fort Wingate supplied 100 tons of Composition B high explosives to the Manhattan Project for use in the first Trinity test and became an ammunition depot "Fort Wingate Depot Activity" from World War II until BRAC closed it in 1993. Environmental cleanup of UXO, perchlorate and lead as well as land transfer continue to the present day.

History[edit]

  • Ojo del Oso, literally "Eye of the Bear", meaning Bear springs) was a Navajo place visited for good grazing and water.

19th century[edit]

  • 1849 A hay camp was set up near Seboyeta, New Mexico and was called Fort Wingate.[3] It was named for Major Benjamin Wingate, 5th U.S. Infantry, who died on 1 June 1862 from wounds he received during the Battle of Valverde.[4]
  • 1860 Fort Fauntleroy was established at Bear Springs (Ojo del Oso) as an outpost of Fort Defiance. General Thomas T. Fauntleroy named the fort for himself.[3]
  • 1861 Fort Fauntleroy was renamed Fort Lyon for Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, a Unionist, when Fauntleroy left New Mexico to join the Confederacy. Fort Lyon was closed on 10 September 1861 at the start of the Civil War.[3]
  • 1862 Fort Wingate was moved near a large spring at San Rafael, New Mexico, also known as "Bikyaya" or "El Gallo"(the rooster).[4][3] It was designed to house four companies of troops.
    • 1864 Edward Canby ordered Colonel Kit Carson to bring four companies of the First New Mexico Volunteers to the fort to "control" the Navajo.
    • 1864-1866 It was the staging point for the Navajo deportation known as the Long Walk of the Navajo.
    • 1865 the New Mexico Military District had 3,089 troops, 135 of them at Fort Wingate.
  • 1868 Fort Wingate was moved back to the former site of Fort Lyon at Ojo del Oso.[5]
    • 1873 - 1886 The fort´s troops participated in Apache Wars with troops and recruited Navajo Scouts.
    • 1878 Fort Wingate had 137 troops.
    • 1868-1895 Fort Wingate troops often settled disagreements between Navajo and "citizens" in New Mexico.
    • 1891 Fort Wingate troops assisted Arizona units against angry Hopis.

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

  • Though the fort´s mission ended, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) continues to use 6,465-acres for launching target rockets to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).[7]:6
  • In December 2005, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued the Army a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Permit[7]:6
  • As of 2016, FWDA spread across 21,131 acres, occupyied 15,280 acres of land and a BRAC acreage of 14,666.[7]:6
  • Environmental cleanup and land transfer[when?] to the surrounding community continues to the present, through at least 2022. 5,854 acres have already been transferred to the Department of Interior.[7]:6Explosives, perchlorates and nitrates are the primary contaminant in the northern groundwater plumes which have not migrated off-post, all other sites consist of relatively minor soil or building contamination without groundwater issues but with explosives, SVOCs, and metals like lead.[7]:11

Famous U.S. military figures[edit]

Several famous military commanders cycled through Fort Wingate's history.

The above extracted from AMCIS-102 dated 1 July 1970, Ft Wingate

See also[edit]

In 1895 Second Lieutenant Cornelius C. Smith, a Medal of Honor recipient, posed with his favorite horse, Blue, in front of his quarters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ San Rafael is at 35°06′45″N 107°52′58″W / 35.112466°N 107.882652°W / 35.112466; -107.882652.
  3. ^ a b c d Fort Wingate @NewMexicoHistory.org
  4. ^ a b Fraizer, Robert Walter (1965). Forts of the West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1250-6. 
  5. ^ James H. Defouri, Historical Sketch of the Catholic Church in New Mexico (1887) p.81
  6. ^ About FWDA, n.d. retrieved 17 June 2017
  7. ^ a b c d e f FY2016 Fort Wingate Depot Activity Base Realignment & Closure Installation Action Plan 29 November 2016, 41 pp

External links[edit]