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History of Soda Springs & Zzyzx

1860 - 1870 -- Army Outpost

Hancock's Redoubt was a temporary stronghold built here by the U.S. Army in the 1860s along the Mojave Road, which stretched west from Prescott, Arizona Territory, through the mountains, beyond the Colorado River, and across the Mojave Desert to Cajon Pass. Redoubts offered protection to civilian as well as military travelers. Hancock's Redoubt is mentioned in dispatchs written to Major James H. Carlton of the 1st Dragoons at Camp Cady from 1st Lt. Milton T. Carr, Detachment Commander:

"May 1st Left camp at daylight and marched to Soda Springs, where I arrived at 11 o'clock a.m.... Found plenty of tule grass and water here. There are three springs, one large and two small. The water is impregnated with some alkaline substance and is unpleasent to taste. The redoubt erected at Soda Springs is about the same size as that erected at Bitter Spring: it is called Hancock's Redoubt. (Named in honor of Army Quarter Master Winfield S. Hancock.) Should small parties hereafter be required to operate from this point, five or six men on foot in this redoubt can guard the supplies during the absence of the scouts.

"June 4th ... Loop-holes are arranged around the top, that men inside of the redoubt can command all the ground around, without exposing themselves to the fire of the Indians. Had the front traverse so arranged, also, that it will afford secure shelter for three or four horses."

By 1867, the original "series of breastworks and corrals" had fallen into disepair and was replaced by a more substantial stone structure. From August 21, 1867 until May 23, 1868, Army personnel were stationed here as a full-time outpost of Camp Cady, 35 miles to the east. Three men were usually posted at this lonely station. Remains of larger, similar fortifications, erected along the Mojave Road at Rock Springs and Piute Springs, can still be seen.

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1776 - 1830 -- Early Explorers
1830 - 1860 -- Pioneers & Settlers
1860 - 1870 -- Army Outpost
1870 - 1905 -- Soda Station
1905 - 1916 -- The Soda Works
1916 - 1944 -- Abandonment
1944 - 1974 -- Zzyzx Mineral Springs
1974 - Present -- The DSC

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