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Tag: Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance (Navajo: Tséhootsooí) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Apache County, Arizona, United States. The population was 4,061 at the 2000 census.
The land on which Fort Defiance was eventually established was first noted by white military men when Colonel John Washington stopped there on his return journey from an expedition to Canyon de Chelly. Fort Defiance was established on September 18, 1851 by Col. Edwin V. Sumner to create a military presence in Diné bikéyah (Navajo territory). Sumner broke up the fort at Santa Fe for this purpose, creating the first military post in what is now Arizona. He left Major Electus Backus in charge.
Fort Defiance was built on valuable grazing land that the federal government then prohibited the Navajo from using. As a result, the appropriately named fort experienced intense fighting, culminating in two attacks, one in 1856 and another in 1860. The next year, at the onset of the Civil War, the army abandoned Fort Defiance. Continued Navajo…

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