Fort Cummings (1)

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Fort Cummings (1) (1863-1873, 1880-1884, 1886) - A U.S. Army Fort first established in 1863 near Cooke's Springs, Luna County, New Mexico. Named Fort Cummings after Major Joseph Cummings, 1st New Mexico Volunteer Cavalry, who was killed by hostile Navajo Indians 18 Aug 1863. Abandoned in 1886. Also known as Camp at Fort Cummings.

History of Fort Cummings

Established 2 Oct 1863, by Captain Valentine Dresher, Company B, 1st California Volunteer Infantry to protect travelers passing through Cook's Canyon from hostile Apache Indians.

The post was described in an 1870 report as "small, compactly built, and enclosed by a wall, 10 feet high, composed of adobe. The buildings are one story high, built of adobe and covered with earth." The buildings included five sets of officer's quarters, two barracks, a guard house, a hospital and other offices and support buildings. The key feature of the post was a "never-failing" supply of spring water.

The post was placed in caretaker status in 1870 but reoccupied 1880-1884 when the Apache again became a problem. Occupied again in 1886 for the last time and abandoned on 3 Oct 1886 and the troops withdrawn to Fort Wingate (1). Turned over to the Interior Department for disposition on 20 Oct 1891.

Current Status

Some archeological remains on private property near Cooke's Springs, Luna County, New Mexico.


Location: Near Cooke's Springs, Luna County, New Mexico.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.4655556 Long: -107.6458333

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