This fort was established in 1848 to protect the region from Indian attack and to enforce US authority over the territory obtained that year from Mexico. During the Civil War, it was headquarters for the Confederate forces of the Southwest, and later was a post for troops charged with capturing Apache chief Geronimo. The Fort Bliss Museum, in a replica of a c.1857 adobe fort, recalls this history. Exhibits include uniforms and tools, as well as the riding crop brandished by Gen. John Pershing during his pursuit of the outlaw Pancho Villa.Today Fort Bliss is a US Army Air Defense Center. The US Army Air Defense Museum is the only one of its kind, with exhibits on the history of air defense including weapons, ammunition, photographs and dioramas.At the Robert E. Lee entrance gate stands the Buffalo Soldier Monument, executed in bronze by sculptor Jimmie Bemont. Feared and respected, the African-American Buffalo Soldiers defended the Western frontier during the late 19C.
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