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Built in 1849, Fort Bliss has served as a United States military installation for over two centuries. The fort began as an outpost that assisted setlers, traders, and prospectors. Fort Bliss is now home to the 1st Armored Division. the base is home to a small museum in an adobe building meant to resemble the construction of some of the original buildings that were created prior to the Civil War.


  • This image of Fort Bliss was taken in the 1880s, a period of transition from its role protecting commerce and the border to a place for training soldiers.

In 1848 The U.S. government ordered a military establishment be built at El Paso del Norte, now known as Juarez. Soldiers at the post helped protect commerce from raids of Apache and the Commanche-two tribes that continued to control large sections of the American West into the second half of the 19th century. In 1854, the post was named in honor of Lt. Col. William Wallace Smith Bliss, a veteran of the Mexican American War.  

During World War II, Fort Bliss was one of the initial detention centers where citizens and residents of Japanese decent were detained in response to xenophobic fears of foreigners following the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Fort Bliss has grown to encompass much of the city of El Paso and remains the Army's second largest installment. The fort is home to the 1st Armored Division as well as the El Paso Intelligence Center.

Handbook of Texas Online, Leon C. Metz, "Fort Bliss," accessed August 02, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbf03