Fort Whipple (2)
Fort Whipple (2) (1863-1913) - A U.S. Army post first established in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War by Major Edward B. Willis, 1st California Volunteer Infantry, in Yavapai County, Arizona. Named for Major General Amiel W. Whipple (Cullum 1063), who was mortally wounded 7 May 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Renamed again as Whipple Barracks in 1879. Abandoned in 1913.
Established 23 Dec 1863 by Major Edward B. Willis, 1st California Volunteer Infantry and built out as a large rectangular log stockade. The interior buildings surrounded a central parade with the officer's quarters opposite the enlisted barracks. This first post was condemned in 1869 and all the buildings were torn down and rebuilt. On 15 Apr 1870, the new Fort Whipple became the Headquarters for the Military Department of Arizona.
On 5 Apr 1879 Fort Whipple became Whipple Barracks. The post became General George Crook's District of Arizona headquarters in 1882. Centrally located in the state, the fort had a major influence on all Indian affairs in the region.
Whipple Barracks remained active through 1896 but requests to update the post were turned down and it was scheduled for deactivation in 1897. The U.S. Army had already left the post and was preparing to abandon it just as the Spanish American War began on 25 Apr 1898. Whipple Barracks quickly became a mustering point for volunteers in this short-lived war. Elements of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders were formed here and shipped east.
Whipple Barracks was revived in 1904 when the War Department reserved land in Prescott and later accepted title to the land from a John H. Smith and the city of Prescott in 1904 (G.O. 13, 2 Feb 1905). Construction on a new post began almost immediately and the size of the new post grew from an initial two company post to a four-company post. The expansion included a new two company barracks, four sets of officer quarters and two sets of NCO quarters. In all, there were eleven sets of officer quarters, four sets of NCO quarters, two single company barracks, and one two company barracks. Additional structures were added that included a headquarters building and guardhouse. The majority of the post was complete by 1908 and that is the post that exists today on the VA hospital grounds. Arizona became a state on 14 Feb 1912, the post was declared obsolete and abandoned in 1913.
Parts of the old post are now the Northern Arizona VA Health Care Complex in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona. The Fort Whipple Museum located in one of the 1908 officer’s quarters and is still painted in the original creme with green trim. Some 36 buildings and structures remain from the Whipple Barracks period starting in 1904 and most have been repurposed and modified for use by the hospital. These buildings and structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visited: 17 Mar 2013