Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fort Jones

Siskiyou County August 17, 1993

If this endeavor to go to every California state landmark had a solidifying point where one would say they got hooked, then it was here, 800 miles from home on the loop coming from Yreka. Maybe it was the drive, the scenery, or the site, but most likely it was the fact of knowing none of this would have ever been experienced if it hadn’t been for the search for old No. 317 – Fort Jones.  

Photo – California state military museum

Fort Jones’ alumni list of Civil War commanders is amazing. You've got Phil Sheridan, George Crook, and Ulyses S. (Union), and William Wing Loring, John B. Hood, and George Pickett (Confederate). A slow starter in his military career, Grant was assigned to the Fort but didn’t show up and was AWOL. A 2nd Lt there got $64 a month to live on with food not being part of the deal, and in a mining area like this where costs were high, that pay didn’t cover eats. So they took to hunting and farming for provisions and used the money for the main common passion of Indian, miner, and military alike…alcohol. Accounts of events at this fort read more like scripts from the old black and white TV series ‘F Troop’ then the later battles of the Modoc War to the east. 

The Callilac cooling its heels in town.

The town of Fort Jones is in Scott Valley, California, 16 miles west of Yreka (described by 2nd Lt.George Crook as "a large ant's nest" in 1854 where "miner, merchant, gambler, and all . . . carried their lives in their own hands . . . scarcely a week passed by without one or more persons being killed" - Colonel Herbert M. Hart, USMC (retired) Executive Director, Council on America's Military Past
Town photo with Cad

This state landmark has a local plaque, not the state version and was placed in 1946.
Plaque Inscription: NO. 317 SITE OF FORT JONES - Companies A and B of the First United States Dragoons established a military post here on October 16, 1852. Named in honor of Colonel Roger Jones, brevet major general and the Adjutant General of the Army 1825-52, this fort was garrisoned by Company 3, 4th U.S. Infantry from April 23, 1853 until it was abandoned on June 23, 1858. This monument is dedicated this 14th day of July, 1946, to the officers and men who served here, among them Sergeants James Bryan and John Griffin and Private Gundor Salverson who upon their discharge became pioneer settlers of this valley.
Location: On E Side Rd, 0.5 mi SE of intersection of E Side Rd and State Hwy 3, Fort Jones
Google maps: 41.59578,-122.841965


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