We happened by Fort Selden recently. It’s located a little north of Las Cruces, right in a bend of the Rio Grande.The first troops to occupy the fort were companies of the 125th US Colored Infantry Regiment, from Kentucky. The unit's history is summarized here.
View of Fort Selden, New Mexico, c. 1867. Photo by Nicholas Brown. Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA. Neg. #001705)
It doesn’t look like this anymore, but they were having the annual
Frontier Days celebration, so we did see some sights.
This chap offered us some
delicious lamb stew. Eddy Harrison serenaded us and we saw a couple of
shootouts and other vintage reenactments.
While you're looking at the pictures, you really ought to listen to a little Eddy Harrison. He's a New Mexico original, a man or parts. He's a Las Cruces Legend.
This is more what the grounds look
like these days, and here is the current sentinel.
There were several other units of black soldiers after the Civil War.
You may know that Douglas McArthur was here with his family in the 1880s. His father was the fort commander for a few years. Young Douglas learned to ride and shoot out here in the wild west.
Fort Selden, of course, is one of many forts constructed in New Mexico in the post Civil War days.
We heard Eddy sing this song, too, another Harrison original. If you lived through the 1960s, and Eddy did, you have strong feelings about Vietnam.
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