Once a small resort, Cottonwood Cove was adopted by the Legion as an outpost, used for trafficking captured people to Arizona for slave processing and as a launching point for all Legion raiding operations in southern Mojave. It has since become the largest Legion encampment on the west side of the Colorado River and is their foothold into Nevada, using the river to transfer trooper and supplied to Fortification Hill on the east bank. This was made possible by the sabotage of Camp Searchlight, organized by Vulpes Inculta. When the camp fell and the NCR's presence in the region waned, an outpost was set up at Cottonwood Cove to handle all Legion operations in the area. All communication to and from Cottonwood Cove is handled through boats.
Centurion Aurelius of Phoenix is stationed here as commander. With just two contubernia at his command (16 legionaries), he managed to kill and capture over four times more people than he has at his disposal (64 in total).
The Legion camp is concentrated among the former resort buildings on the edge of the bay. Legionaries patrol the area around the buildings and up to the edge of the resort, near the welcome sign (now adorned with the heads of those who crossed the Legion), while lookouts (Legion explorers and a Legion mongrels) cover entry points.
Centurion Aurelius of Phoenix maintains his command post at the headquarters set up in the concrete building overlooking the bay, with legionaries quartered in red tents surrounding it. Most of the resort buildings are boarded off, with the exception of the mess hall. A shack set up by the overlook is used as a supply dump.
The Cove can be a difficult area to storm, due to open lines of sight. However, a crafty sniper can make use of the Cottonwood overlook to pick legionaries off, or dump the radioactive waste from the transport truck from San Onofre onto the hapless legionaries below. This will kill everyone in the camp, including civilians, but will not deny access to the Fort. Cursor Lucullus will simply wear a radiation suit, while the radiation won't be high enough to be lethal to the player.
Craig Boone will warn the player on approach that he will start shooting anyone wearing Legion red. Actually wiping the camp out with Boone in tow - whether directly or through dumping waste into it - advances Boone's story and puts the player one step closer to starting I Forgot to Remember to Forget.
Electing to nuke the Legion during Lonesome Road will activate the boat to Dry Wells at the Cove.
There seems to have been some kind of bunker building originally intended to be found at or near CottonWood Cove. Inside would be found the cut NVCCBunkerRadroach enemies. There is also an early script called NVCCBunkerLogBookSCRIPT that seems to have been for some kind of quest item; however the item itself does not exist, and the script does nothing.
There is also the object NVCCBunkerEmergencyLightWarm that would presumably have been found inside, but in the final game is only used in the NCRCF prison. It can be assumed that the bunker would have been heavily irradiated, going by the radioactive cockroaches found inside. Possibly this was where the Securitron bunker was originally going to be?
There are actually a LOT more crucified people set up in the game files around the entrance to this area, but most are disabled in the final game.
↑The Courier: "Consider it done." Astor: "What?.. Really?! You're mad, but I like it! According to the notes you gave me, all of the southern raiding parties come from that camp. Caesar regularly sends fresh squads to relieve patrols. Killing their Centurion and leadership would be a start, but finding a way to permanently shut down that dock is what we really need." (Astor's dialogue)
↑Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.423-424: "[6.20] Cottonwood Cove The largest encampment of Legion forces on the western side of the Colorado River, these Arizonan slavers have a foothold in Nevada, and use this position to bring in troops and supplies from Caesar's main base on Fortification Hill. As you approach, you can see a once-picturesque river camp, you're stopped by a Legionary explorer, who wants to know why you're here. You can:
↑The Courier: "You must be the one in charge here." Aurelius of Phoenix: "Of course I am, you fool. I am a Centurion! When Vulpes Inculta drove the NCR from Searchlight by clever means, Caesar himself ordered me to set up this camp and harass the Profligates! It's a modest presence, a single finger of the Legion reaching across the river's narrows. But with me here, it has an iron knuckle." (Aurelius of Phoenix's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Does the Legion see much action here?" Aurelius of Phoenix: "As much as the Profligates' cowardice will allow. They haven't found the balls to attack us here, but we catch them out on patrols. With two contubernia at my command, I've killed and captured four times my numbers." (Aurelius of Phoenix's dialogue)