Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle
Fort Sam Houston is the headquarters of the 5th United States Army. The quadrangle is the oldest building on post and is one of four buildings at Fort Sam Houston open to the public. The Quadrangle, built in 1876 as a supply depot has a distinguished historical past housing Indian outlaws including the Apache war chief, Geronimo in 1886. The centerpiece of the Quadrangle is the clock tower which still bears the inscriptions and architecture of 19th century Texas. The historical significance Fort Sam's Quadrangle is just as impressive as it's beauty, attraction and gentle resident animals.
Fort sam/San Antonio Quadrangle History
The Quadrangle is one of the most significant locations of San Antonio history, Texas history and United States history. During it's early years, the Quadrangle served as a quartermasters depot for housing supplies and became an arsenal for the US Army.
Before the Quadrangle was the arsenal, the Army stored its supplies and munitions in the building now owned by HEB (currently called the "arsenal"). Its location at Fort Sam Houston is one of the highest points in San Antonio, appropriately named Government Hill. The hill was chosen for the Quadrangle's location to better fend off attacks in the event Indians were to attempt an offensive on the post. Geronimo, the notorious Apache Indian war chief was housed at the Quadrangle for six weeks following his surrender in Arizona to General Nelson A. Miles. Legend states that the deer on the grounds were introduced for Geronimo to feel more at home during his confinement but nobody really knows why the deer and other animals have been there for over 100 years.
Being the headquarters of the Fifth United States Army, the Quadrangle has been host and home to numerous distinguished military personnel including John J. Pershing (Black Jack Pershing) and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Quadrangle ranks second in terms of Texas historical buildings significance, the Alamo ranking first.
Visiting The Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle
One of San Antonio's most historic and beautiful attractions, the Quadrangle is ideal for families with children. The Quadrangle is home to deer, peacocks, guinea fowl, ducks and geese. The animals enjoy the visitors as much as the visitors enjoy them. The setting is so beautiful and historical that families with small children can enjoy the animals while military history buffs can explore the rich history of the grounds, walls and buildings. A sign close to the entrance states that no bread or crackers can be fed to the animals but it doesn't say anything about vegetables or fruits, which the deer and other Quadrangle animal residents enjoy. As soon as the animals see that you've got food, you'll be surrounded with two and four-legged friends looking for a handout. They'll eat out of your hand but they're gentle and won't get aggressive so having small children around is okay. The Army doesn't provide any food for visitors to feed the animals so you'll have to bring your own. Keep in mind that the Quadrangle is the headquarters of one of the most powerful armies in the world yet the location is also home to some of the most gentle and tame "wild animals" in south Texas. It's both humbling and serene to be in these historical confines with a commanding General in the same vicinity as the peaceful animals found at the Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle.