Traces of the US military are sprinkled throughout the Mojave. One such area is Fort Piute (misspelling of the Paiute tribe), one of the earliest outpost the military established in the West. The remains of Ft. Piute are located NE of Needles, CA on the Old Mojave Road.
In 1859 Col. William Hoffman and 60 soldiers killed 20 Native Americans at Piute Spring, when they stopped for water. Months later, another military commander came through and established the fort, to “protect” travelers on the Mojave Road. Between 1859 – 1868 the fort was manned off & on, but eventually abandoned altogether in 1868. There were many skirmishes between the native people who considered this land sacred, as they were being aggressively forced out and attacked by the military on their own lands.
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