Carlisle Barracks, PA Image 1
    Carlisle Barracks, PA Image 2

    Carlisle Barracks, PA History

    First established in 1757 as a forward camp in the French and Indian Wars, and the second oldest army post in the United States, Carlisle Barracks have a strong history despite being a small post. Carlisle Barracks were remote enough in 1777 to be easily seized by the Continental Army, who used the post partially as a POW camp, housing captured Hessian mercenaries. The Hessians built a 4 foot thick-walled building, later used as a powder magazine and even later a guard house, today called the Hessian Powder Magazine.

    Carlisle Barracks was permanently encamped in 1794 by no less an authority than President Washington, who faced down a tax rebellion from Pennsylvania corn farmers, the Whiskey Rebellion, and used Carlisle as a base for this action.

    In 1838 The School of Calvary Practice was established at Carlisle Barracks; the base was for some years short on horses, and unmounted recruits had to practice on foot, on the double, until a mount could be secured.

    Confederate cavalry entered Carlisle June 27 1863, occupied the camp, and burned the barracks when forced to retreat. The stone did not crack and the barracks rebuild. The Confederates also shelled the town and raided stores for supplies.

    In 1871 Carlisle Barracks was discontinued as a center for Mounted Recruit Service, and in 1879 the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was housed here for the next 39 years. With the entry of the US into World War I, the Indian School was closed, in 1918, and Carlisle Barracks was used by the Army as a Medical Field Service School. Through World War II, Carlisle Barracks was used for various school posts, until, in 1951, the US Army War College was relocated to Carlisle Barracks, where it has remained.