Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston is a major military installation in the northeast section of San Antonio. The United States Army first established a presence in San Antonio at Camp Almus near the Alamo in October 1845 when the Republic of Texas was in the process of becoming a state. In addition to a small garrison, the post at San Antonio included a quartermaster depot. As early as 1846 the city was attempting to secure the establishment of a permanent United States military installation. During the Mexican War, the army established a mobilization camp at San Pedro Springs for Gen. John E. Wool’s army. In December 1848 the headquarters of the Eighth Military Department moved to San Antonio. Except for the period from 1853 to 1855, there was a regional headquarters in San Antonio until the Civil War. The San Antonio Quartermaster Depot occupied the Alamo on January 2, 1849, on lease from the Catholic Church. The Vance house, a two-story stone house where the Sheraton Gunter Hotel now stands, was leased for the headquarters. Barracks for garrison and officer quarters were nearby in rented buildings. The city made several offers of free land, but all were refused except for a small parcel on Flores Street, which was used for the San Antonio Arsenal, constructed in 1859. In 1861 all federal facilities in San Antonio were surrendered to secessionist forces. Federal forces returned in 1865, and the headquarters occupied the French Building. Between 1870 and 1875, the city council made several offers of land to the U. S. War Department for a permanent post. The War Department eventually accepted three parcels of land amounting to 92.79 acres located two and one half miles northeast of the Alamo on what would soon be called Government Hill.
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