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Fort Thorn

Fort Thorn or Fort Thorne was a settlement and military outpost located on the west bank of the Rio Grande, northwest of present day Hatch, and west of Salem in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. It was named for 1st Lt. Herman Thorn of the 2nd U.S. Infantry drowned in the Colorado River. Originally called Cantonment Garland, Fort Thorn was established December 24, 1853 by Captain Israel Richardson, with a garrison of 3rd U.S. Infantry from abandoned Fort Webster, on the right bank of the Rio Grande at Santa Barbara. The post was built of adobe and served to protect settlers and travelers against attacks by the Apaches and outlaws, before being closed in 1859. It had its own post office from 1855 to 1859. It was located near an extensive marsh, across the river, and malaria among the garrison was a serious problem there, and caused the post's closure in 1859. An agency for the Apache Indians operated nearby even after the fort was closed. One of the main units operating from Fort Thorn were detachments of the Regiment of Mounted Rifles. The site of Fort Thorn was the scene of the Skirmish near Fort Thorn, New Mexico Territory between Union Soldiers and men of the Confederate Sibley expedition on September 26, 1861. The site of most of the fort was washed away by a flooding of the Rio Grande in 1889.