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 on 14 Nov 1894. Also known as Camp Bowie (1).
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 points 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 on 17 Oct 1894, transferred to the Interior Department on 14 Nov 1894 and auctioned off to the public about two years later. The post buildings were sold on 20 Jun 1911 and only the stone walls remained.
Ruins were 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 an unmanned trailhead 1.5 miles away. Handicapped access is available.
Travel on Hwy 186 to the Bowie turn-off and then 8 miles on unpaved road to the Fort Bowie trailhead. Three-mile, round trip, hike to the fort ruins.
Visited: 2 Nov 2009