Old Fort Grant
begins as Fort Arivaypa on the north bank of Arivaipa Creek, where
Arivaipa Creek flows into the San Pedro River. James B. Leach
suggests the site. From there, the Army can protect travelers using
his wagon road.
In May 1860, B
Company, U.S. 8th Infantry Regiment begins construction of Fort
Arivaypa. In August 1860, they rename the post Fort Breckenridge
(should have been spelled with an i) after then Vice President John
C. Breckinridge. (During the Civil War, he becomes a Confederate
In July 1861, Fort
Breckenridge's troops receive orders to travel east. They burn the
buildings and move eastward to the Civil War battlefields.
On October 31,
1865, five companies of 2nd California Infantry Regiment commanded
by Colonel Thomas F. Wright establish a post at the confluence of
the San Pedro River and Arivaipa Creek. They name it after the Union
General Ulysses S. Grant.
Five months later,
regular troops of the 14th Infantry relieve the California
Volunteers. That summer's monsoon rains destroy seventy-five percent
of the buildings of the fort. They decide to move the post to the
site of Fort Breckenridge. October 1866 sees orders coming to
abandoned the site. Instead, it becomes Fort Grant.
By 1871, the Army
decides to abandoned the site. Again, Indian troubles force the post
to remain active. In April, a group of Tucson citizens murder about
85 Indians living at Fort Grant. It becomes nationally as the Camp
Grant Massacre. In 1872, they move the surviving Indians to the San
On March 29, 1873,
the Army deactivates Fort Grant. The name changes to the new Fort