Benicia Military Reservation

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Benicia Military Reservation (1849-1964) - A U.S. Army military reservation established in 1849 by Captain (Bvt. Lt. Colonel) Silas Casey and two companies of the 2nd U.S. Infantry in present day Benicia, Solano County, California. Closed in 1962 and sold in 1964.

Benicia Arsenal Plan


Benicia Military Reservation 1864 Plan

See also Benicia Barracks and Benicia Arsenal.

Established in 1849 with a 345-acre land transfer to the U.S. from Dr. Robert Semple and Thomas Larkin, founders of the town of Benicia. First occupied on 30 Apr 1849 by Captain (Bvt. Lt. Colonel) Silas Casey and two companies of the 2nd U.S. Infantry. President Abraham Lincoln designated it a Military Reservation on 7 Oct 1862, separating it from the public lands. Between 1849 and 1958 an additional 1,790 fee acres, 351 public domain acres, 580 easement acres and 6 license acres for a total of 2,728 acres. The acquired property included 190 acres on Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay.

The U.S. Army built several installations on Benicia Military Reservation:

  • Benicia Barracks (1849-1898) occupied 99.5 acres in the northwest corner of the parcel; its hospital still exists today as an office building. It was the U.S. Army headquarters for the Department of the Pacific from 1851-1857 and was the embarkation point for most troops destined for Pacific Coast service up to the U.S. Civil War.
  • Benicia Quartermaster's Depot (1849-1858) in the southern part of the Arsenal reservation near the waterfront, used for storing supplies from 1849-1858; none of its original buildings survive today.
  • Benicia Arsenal (1851-1964) - established in 1850 for the storage and issuance of military materials; it was the first Ordnance Supply Depot in the West. In 1852, the US government designated the Benicia Arsenal as one of the country's five permanent arsenals.

The Arsenal expanded during the U.S. Civil War and became a distribution center for the Army on the west coast and a supplier for east coast arsenals. With the closure of Benicia Barracks in 1898 the military reservation and Benicia Arsenal became the same entity. The post facilities expanded during the construction and operation of the large caliber Endicott Period coastal defense fortifications on the west coast, for World War II and the Korean War. The reservation was designated for closure in 1962 and the closure plan was completed by April 1962. The reservation was transferred to the City of Benicia in 1964 for $6,000,000. The City then leased the property to Benecia Inc. for development.

Current Status

Property is city owned and leased to Benicia Inc. for 66 years in Benicia, Solano County, California.

Location: Benicia, Solano County, California.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.054036 Long: -122.135561



Visited: 16 Nov 2013

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