Fort Bowie

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Fort Bowie (1862-1894) - Established 28 Jul 1862 by Major Theodore A. Coult, 5th U.S. Infantry, and named for Colonel George W. Bowie, California Volunteer Infantry. Abandoned 17 Oct 1892 and transferred to the Interior Department 14 Nov 1894. Also known as Camp Bowie (1).

Cavalry Barracks Ruins at Fort Bowie
Fort Bowie Site from Overlook


Fort Bowie History

Fort Bowie 1880

Established during the U.S. Civil War to protect travel along the Tucson-Mesilla road, to protect the Apache Springs and to keep Confederate troops out of the region.

The post was built of adobe and stone with 412 feet of stone walls. In 1868 the post was moved from its original site to a nearby hill.

Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of a bitter 30‑year conflict between the U.S. Military and the Chiricahua Apache Indians that ended with the surrender of Geronimo in 1886. The surrendered Chiricahua Apache Indians were moved to reservations in Florida and Alabama.

The post was abandoned 17 Oct 1894, transferred to the Interior Department 14 Nov 1894 and auctioned off to the public about two years later. The post buildings were sold 20 Jun 1911 and only the stone walls remained.

Fort Bowie Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1871-02-13 1871-10 ”Maj. Evans, Andrew W. 1561
1884-06 1888-12-13 ”Maj. Beaumont, Eugene B. 1919
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

Ruins taken over by the National Park Service in 1964 and stabilized. Now Fort Bowie Historic Site. Ruins remain of both forts and the Butterfield Stage Station. Accessible from the towns of Bowie and Wilcox, Arizona. Fort and on-site visitor center accessible from unmanned trailhead 1.5 miles away. Handicapped access available.


Location: 20 miles East of Wilcox, Cochise County, Arizona, on Hwy 186 to the Bowie turn off and 8 miles on unpaved road to the Fort Bowie trailhead. Three mile, round trip, hike to the fort ruins.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.1443 Long: -109.4362

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Visited: 2 Nov 2009

Fort Bowie Picture Gallery

Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!

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