(Radium Springs NM)
Visited Fort Selden State Monument which was built near the Rio Grande in 1865. It’s primary mission was to protect settlers from hostile Mescalero Apaches. Troops also escorted wagons going to Las Cruces to the south, and to Deming further west. Positioned along the Camino Real trade route, it also served as a way stop.
The post housed about 200 men with half being white cavalry and half infantry of black “Buffalo” soldiers. Their patrols extended for hundreds of square miles. Deaths were more common from disease or gambling with locals than from encounters with natives. Douglas McArthur lived there as a child when his father was the commander of the fort.
Crumbling adobe walls are all that remain of the once large fort. A nice Visitor Center had informative displays and a video about life at the post. From May through mid-September, they hold re-enactment events to demonstrate the activities of the fort. If you like history, it’s worth a visit.
My camp was at the nearby state park. Because of my Annual Camping Pass, the site with a ramada, picnic table, and fire pit was free.
Camp: Leasburg Dam SP-Agave Loop drycamp
Scene: Historic fort, ruins