California State Military Department
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Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts:
Camp Merriam
 
Named after Brigadier General Henry C. Merriam, then Commanding Ceneral of the Department of California. Located on the hills just north of the Lombard Street entrance to the Presidio of San Francisco, Camp Merriam was established in 1898 to quarter and train volunteer soldiers from California, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota for service during the Spanish-American War. The living conditions at Camp Merriam were considered by the troops to be far superior to those at Camp Merritt, located just south of the Arguello Boulevard Gate. About 10,000 men were encamped there. The area of the camp was quite limited and the troops were somewhat crowded. The water supply was good. As soon as it was understood that the force was to be increased Camp Merritt was established near the northern boundary of the Golden Gate Park and the troops from Camp Merriam moved to that place.
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Near the Lombard Gate, at the junction Of Lincoln and Roger is a marker identifying the area as the location of Camp Merriam's great tent city. Two old bronze cannons made in Spain in 1783 are located outside the Presidio's main gate. Captured by United States forces during the war with Spain, they bear inscriptions identify them as "Arms of Charles lll" of Spain.



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