Local

July 5, 2012

Discover Sierra Vista

Explore Old Post Cemetery

City of Sierra Vista

Many people think they have to travel far from home to get away and explore, but there’s a lot to do in the Sierra Vista area. The ‘staycation’ is a trend that became popular when gas prices began their dramatic rise — taking vacations that require no travel except for day trips to destinations close to home. There’s a lot to do right here, in and around Sierra Vista.

Mourning Hearts — A Soldier’s Family, a bronze sculpture by Jessica McCain and presented by the Huachuca Museum Society in 1996, depicts a nameless woman and children mourning the loss of her Soldier. With a backdrop of gravestones at Fort Huachuca’s Old Post Cemetery, she symbolizes the many people who hove mourned the loss of those buried there.

The area’s history dates back 13,000 years to the Clovis people – hunters of the now-extinct mammoth and other large game. In later years, the area was home to Cochise and Geronimo, whose conflicts against the U.S. Army are legendary.

Fort Huachuca, a National Historic Landmark, was initially established as a camp in 1877 because of the ongoing conflict with the Chiricahua Apache; the location was selected due to easy access to running water, the defense advantage of the surrounding mountains and the security of the canyon. Within the historic district lies the Old Post Cemetery, the memorial grounds of the installation.

At the Old Post Cemetery, visitors will find a tableau of tales with glimpses into generations of families of the Southeastern Arizona Territory, the Post’s memorialized Indian War years and even the most recent past. This was the burial ground for many in the frontier days; it was an Army tradition to bring in bodies found in the desert for burial in Army cemeteries. There are some unmarked graves outside the cemetery’s wall – it is unknown what crimes were committed that ultimately prevented those individuals from being buried within the cemetery itself.

There are the graves of Apache Scouts and their families, like Shorten Bread and his son Shorten Bread, Jr. See the headstone for Carrie Clark, postmistress. Official records have it that she and her post office were abruptly moved because she refused to recognize the post commander’s authority. The unofficial story claims she was ordered off the post for illegally selling whiskey.

Ponder over the curious finds at the cemetery. Why is U.S. Navy Seaman, Juan Cortes, buried here, so very far from an ocean? Why is Private Willie Shepherd the only Confederate soldier laid to rest in an otherwise blue sea of Union graves? Why are they buried here in southeastern Arizona? There are no records, and those who knew have long since passed on.

The single headstone, “The Unknowns,” marks the final resting place for the remains of 76 soldiers. In 1928, they were disinterred from old Fort San Carlos, which is now under the waters of Coolidge Dam. These unknowns are believed to have been killed in an Apache raid near the San Carlos reservation in the last quarter of the 19th century.

Those who like the local tales that only tombstones can tell, should enjoy a visit to the Old Post Cemetery, located adjacent to the Bonnie Blink housing area on post.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Scout-1954

FINAL ISSUE: Scout newspaper prints final edition after more than 61 years

Times are changing. Gone are the days when a kid stood on the corner waving the newspaper and crying out the latest headline. Gone are the days when news could wait until the presses had finished rolling. Today news is instanta...
 
 
Jennifer-Caprioli

Scout on the Street

Joan Vasey Managing Editor As managing editor of The Fort Huachuca Scout for the last eight years, I’ve seen a lot of transitions as military and civilian personnel have come and gone, including Scout reporters. Threaded thro...
 

 

Plan now for gate changes beginning Aug. 3

Significant changes to installation access at Fort Huachuca will begin Aug. 3 including a return to the original gate names and background checks for all individuals 18 years and older without an approved form of DOD identification. What is now known as the Main Gate, will return to its historical name, Buffalo Soldier Gate, and...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Vacation Bible School attracts 130 attendees this year

Stephanie Caffall From left, Trey Roberts, 10, John Pecic, 9, and Kyla gross, 7, hold Bible point signs during snack time. The Bible point on July 16 was God has the power to forgive. Fort Huachuca’s Main Post Chapel hosted i...
 
 

CWFC supports Fort’s civilian employees

Fort Huachuca’s Civilian Welfare Fund Council (CWFC) uses the money derived from vending machines to support federal employees. Each month a percentage of the money from post snack and soda vending machines goes into a secured CWFC account to provide morale and recreational activities to civilian employees. According to Carmen Chastain, CWFC president, these activities...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>