Return to Military Index Page
Return to Forts Index Page
Return to NM AHGP Main Page
Return to Territorial Soldiers of New Mexico
Fort McRae (1863-1876) - A U.S. Army fort first established by California
Volunteers during the U.S. Civil War in 1863 near Elephant Butte, Sierra County,
New Mexico. Named Fort McRae after Captain Alexander McRae (Cullum 1516), 3rd
U.S. Cavalry, who was killed in the Battle of Valverde on 21 Feb 1862. Abandoned
Established 3 Apr 1863 by Captain Henry A. Greene, 1st California Volunteer Infantry. The post protected settlers and travelers from the Apache along the Jornada del Muerto (journey of the dead) road from Dona Ana.
At the close of the U.S. Civil War Fort McRae was still garrisoned by companies of the 1st California Volunteer Infantry. They continued to garrison the post until August 1866 when they were replaced by Companies C and K of the 125th U.S. Colored Infantry (Buffalo Soldiers) under the command of Captain E. P. Horne. The garrison was subsequently reduced to a single company. While at the post the black soldiers built several new buildings and put a new roof on the hospital. They also made 25,000 adobe bricks and constructed officers quarters with them.
Abandoned on 30 Oct 1876 and turned over to the Interior Department 22 Jul 1884.