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Fort Naco

Updated: Apr 23

One historic stop on the Copper City Territory Tour is Fort Naco.

Fort Naco is located in Naco, Arizona, and sits about 200 yards north of the border wall.

Fort Naco is also called "Camp Naco" and "Fort Lewell".

Soldiers were first stationed in Naco in November 1910 and remained in the community due to continued fighting across the border, including the Battle of Naco in 1913 and the later Siege of Naco in 1915 in Sonora."

The Battle of Naco was depicted in movies of the day.

The Mexican Revolutionary War was in full swing and Pancho Villa, who led the rebel's fight against the Mexican government, spent a lot of time in Naco, Sonora, which is just across the border from Fort Naco.

There are a number of barracks and officers' quarters still standing from Fort Naco.

Fort Naco on Big Jeep Tours
Fort Naco Officers Quarters

Many Bisbee locals claim to be direct descendants of Pancho Villa.

The American government and Bisbee locals suspected Pancho Villa and his rebels were being assisted by the German government. Germany said they would give the "Gadsen Purchase" back to the rebels when they won the war.

Fort Naco was there to keep the war from spilling into America.

The troop strength varied from 50 to 5000 soldiers. When the threat of the Mexican Revolution was over, the camp was closed in 1923. In 1935 it was reoccupied by the Civilian Conservation Corps who stayed until 1937.

Fort Naco was occupied by Buffalo Soldiers, sent from Fort Huachuca.

Soldiers from Fort Naco were involved in the Bisbee Riot. The Bisbee Riot happened because a discriminatory police officer tried to disarm the Buffalo Soldiers in the red light district.

The Bisbee Riot, or the Battle of Brewery Gulch, occurred on July 3, 1919, between the black Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry and members of local police forces in Bisbee, Arizona. Following a confrontation between a military policeman and some of the Buffalo Soldiers, the situation escalated into a street battle in Bisbee's historic Brewery Gulch. At least eight people were seriously injured, and fifty soldiers were arrested. This incident was unusual for being between police and military. Most other riots during the Red Summer of 1919 involved wide-scale white rioting against blacks, both sides civilians.

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