Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Camp Fitzgerald
(Los Angeles County)
Camp Fitzgerald
by Colonel Herbert M. Hart, USMC (Ret)
Established in early June 1861, near Los Angeles, where it occupied three different sites, each abandoned on account of the lack of water and pasture for the horses, Camp Fitzgerald was first garrisoned by Colonel James Henry Carleton, 1st Dragoons, with Companies B and K, 1st Dragoons, and Companies F and I, 6th Infantry. Most of the 304 troops came from Fort Tejon, where Carleton was stationed until May 3, and Fort Mojave, New Mexico, between June 12 and June 27. The camp was named in honor of Brevet Major Edward H. Fitzgerald, 1st Dragoons, who died in 1860. On September 8, 1861, Companies F and I, 6th Infantry, numbering 118 men, left for Fort Yuma. On September 20 Carleton and his 1st Dragoons evacuated Camp Fitzgerald.
Camp Fitzgerald's plan approved in July, 1861, probably was made more compact and adapted to Camp Latham tent site occupied in September, 1861. From wagons to band tent was 250 paces, cannon on right actually was 100 paces beyond tents. Inspected in 1862, Latham's tents were found to be worn out, soldiers' uniforms shoddy, and almost all 100 horses present unfit for use. (Redrawn from National Archives plot.)
This page was reprinted with permission from Old Forts of the Far West, published in 1965
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Updated 3 July 2017