Ruins and sacred places: Fort Selden

On the banks of the Rio Grande north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, the weathered adobe ruins of post-Civil War outpost Fort Selden stand in mute witness to the drama that evolved within and around their boundaries during the U.S. Army’s Indian fighting days.

Fort Selden forms

Once home to a youthful lad named Douglas MacArthur (his father, Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr. served as post commander starting in 1884), the outpost was first occupied by African American soldiers of the 125th US Colored Infantry Regiment when it was established in 1865.

Shifting shadow

Today the site is a New Mexico State Monument. It’s a lonely, peaceful place with few visitors (at least, judging by my experience) and plentiful opportunities for photographic exploration.

What tales these walls might tell, could they but speak.

Walls and passages

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