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Fort Selden State Monument
Highway 185 Las Cruces, NM 88054
SouthWest
575-647-0421

Fort Selden was established in 1865 in an effort to bring peace to a region besieged by desperado attacks and Indian raids that impeded dreams of US expansion. As settlers, soldiers, explorers and gold, silver and copper miners moved in, indigenous tribes pushed back, and hostilities escalated to a point that force was met with greater force. The first troops to occupy Fort Selden were companies of the 125th Infantry, a group of African American soldiers mustered into the Union Army near the end of the Civil War. They were called Buffalo Soldiers, a name of honor bestowed by their Native American adversaries became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The fort also was home to young Douglas MacArthur, while his father served as commanding officer. In his memoirs, General Douglas MacArthur wrote of Fort Selden as the place he and is brother, Arthur III, "learned to ride and shoot, even before we learned to read and write." By 1886, the frontier saw such change that the Army no longer played a vital role in keeping the West safe, and, in 1891, "Fort Selden passed into history." Though decommissioned more than a century ago, the ruins and grounds Fort Selden survive as a protected a state monument, where living history demonstrations keep its spirit alive.