Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station

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Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station
Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station is located in Warner Springs, California and is the only surviving station on the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. It is a well-preserved one-story adobe building among the oak trees. During the Civil War the station was the location of Camp Wright, a Union Army outpost established to protect the route to Fort Yuma and intercept secessionist sympathizers traveling to the east to join the Confederate Army. A detachment of California Volunteer cavalry and infantry first established Camp Wright at Warner's Ranch, in October 1861. The cold and windy conditions in the higher altitude of the exposed San Jose Valley made the commander change location to the more sheltered Oak Grove location in November. At about the same time Dan Showalter's party of secessionists were attempting to avoid the post and make their way across the desert to join the Confederate Army in Texas. They were pursued from Temecula by a 1st Regiment California Volunteer Cavalry patrol from the Camp, intercepted in the hills west of the San Jose Valley (site of Warner's Ranch) with the support of a 1st California Infantry detachment from the camp, and captured without shots being fired November 20-29, 1861. After being imprisoned at Fort Yuma, Showalter and the others were released upon swearing loyalty to the Union. They later made their way to the Confederacy. For a short time in March 1862 Camp Wright was the headquarters of the 5th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry before it moved on. Used for the rest of the war as a transit camp for troops moving along the road to and from New Mexico and Arizona Territory, the camp was abandoned in 1866. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The location of another nearby station at Warner's Ranch, is also a National Historic Landmark. Oak Grove is located 13 miles northwest of Warner Springs on State Route 79.