Skip to main content

Sally Noe Fort Wingate History Collection

Identifier: MSS -1003-BC

Scope and Content

Collection comprises a range of materials collected by Gallup, New Mexico educator and historian Sally Noe related to the history of Fort Wingate, New Mexico. The collection includes historical documents (many in transcriptions or copies), photographs, correspondence, personal recollections, historical essays, military records and documents, materials pertaining to fort personnel, official reports and studies, maps and publications. A number of materials were originally compiled or created by Fort Wingate Ordnance Depot Historian Elaine Higgins; these materials remain organized in a separate series. Many photographs in the collection have not be separated to the photographs series and remain in folders as originally organized when accessioned.


  • 1862-1997

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Background Information

Fort Wingate traces its history through three locations in New Mexico. The original location dates to the establishment of a military post in 1850 at Cebolleta, New Mexico, at the site of small mission that had been established in 1746. That post was abandoned in 1851. In August 1860, a new post was established at Shash Bito, a spring long utilized by the Dine people for water and good grazing and as a traditional meeting place. Known by the Spanish translation of Ojo del Oso, it had been the site of the 1846 Bear Springs Treaty between the Navajo Nation and the United States. The new post was named Fort Fauntleroy, after Colonel Thomas T. Fauntleroy, commanding officer of the Department of New Mexico. When Fauntleroy resigned his commission in May 1861 to return to Virginia at the start of the Civil War, the post was renamed Fort Lyon, after Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in the Civil War. By 1861, New Mexico Volunteers had supplanted Army Regulars at the fort. In 1862, Brig. General James Carleton moved the original post at Cebolleta to El Gallo, near the present day site of San Rafael, New Mexico, and named it Fort Wingate, after Major Benjamin Wingate, a Union soldier mortally wounded at the Battle of Valverde. In 1868, this Fort Wingate was abandoned and its troops transferred to the site of Fort Lyon to manage the arrival of Navajo people released and returning from Bosque Redondo. For a number of decades, Fort Wingate served as an important site for the disbursement of payments and services stipulated under treaty obligations with the Navajo Nation. In 1914, the fort held for six months some 5300 detainees from the Mexican Revolution—the internees comprising more than 2000 Federal Army soldiers and their families. With the end of World War I in 1918, the fort was designated Wingate General Ordinance Depot, a storage facility for surplus Army explosives. Fort buildings converted to facilities of federal Indian boarding school, the Charles H. Burke Indian School, in 1926, while still housing the military’s dynamite reserve. A number of the famed Navajo Code Talkers attended this school. In 1936, President Roosevelt ordered the modernization of Fort Wingate Ordnance Depot, including the construction of 732 “igloos” for the storage of military ordnance. With the completion of the upgrade in 1941, Fort Wingate became a major repository for military ordnance. Environmental restoration at Fort Wingate began in 1989. Officially closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) in 1993, a portion of the fort continued to operate as launch site for target rockets to White Sands.


1 box, 1 oversize folder and 1 extra oversize folder. (1 cu. ft.)


Collection comprises a range of materials collected by Gallup, New Mexico educator and historian Sally Noe related to the history of Fort Wingate, New Mexico.

Related Archival Material

F. E. Kavanaugh Papers, 1860-1887, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Sally Noe collection of Gallup oral histories and Southwest Native American music, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.
Finding Aid of the Sally Noe Fort Wingate History Collection, 1862-1997
C. Geherin
© 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131