Fort Beale (later known as Fort Piute) was established late in 1859 by Captain James Carleton, 1st Dragoons. The fort was located at Piute Spring along the Mojave Road and was manned by a handful of soldiers until the start of the Civil War. During the civil war it was garrisoned by state militiamen from the California Volunteers until the end of the war when it was once again manned by troops from Camp Cady, California and renamed Fort Piute. The fort only stayed in business for a short time until it was once again abandoned by the middle of 1868.
Fort Piute, CA is an incredible place. Not only do you have the military history, but there is a hiking trail through Piute Gorge, wild flowers during the spring, wildlife, and some of the best petroglyph sites that I have seen in a while. They are literally everywhere. What I strongly recommend is using a National Geographic topo map or some other topo map of the area. On it you will see three marked petroglyph sites plus the fort. Use these locations as a starting point and go from there; that is exactly what we did and we found tons of rock art.
A few things: We made two trips during April 2011. The temperatures were perfect and the wildflowers were great, but some kind of giant mutant biting flies ate me alive. During the summer, the temperatures are over 100 degrees so have a lot of water. Take a topo map, a GPS, and a high-clearance 4WD is recommended.
Fort Piute is located approximately 5 miles south of the Nevada border in California and about 8.5 west of US 95.