Western Nebraska

Alkali Station | Armas de Francia | Fort Banishment | Beauvais Ranch Station Post
Fort Beaver Valley | Bordeaux' Trading Post | Carter Canyon Post | Fort Childs | Fort Clarke
Cold Water Ranch Station | Post Connor | Fort Cottonwood | Fort Cottonwood Springs
Post at Cottonwood Springs | Fort Desolation | Diamond Springs Station | Elm Creek Fort
Fort Gillette | Gilman's Station Post | Post at Grand Island | Fort Grattan | Fort Grove
Fort Hartsuff | Fort Heath | Heavy Timber Station | Fort John | Fort Kearny (2)
Camp Keya Paha | Cantonment McKean (2) | Fort McPherson | Midway Station
Fort Mirage Flats | Camp Mitchell (2) | Fort Mitchell (2) | Fort Mitchell (3) | Fort Montrose
Post at Mullaly's Ranch Station | Fort Niobrara | Post on the North Fork Loup River
Post at North Platte Station | O'Fallon's Bluffs Post | Plum Creek Post
Post (Camp) at Red Cloud Agency | Camp Red Willow | Robidoux Pass Trading Posts
Camp Robinson | Fort Robinson | Camp Ruggles | Camp Sargent | Camp Sergeant
Camp Sheridan | Fort Sheridan | Camp Shuman | Sidney Barracks | Fort Sidney
Post on the South Fork Loup River | Post at Spotted Tail Agency

Camps of the Pine Ridge Campaign

Eastern Nebraska - page 1



Last Update: 21/FEBRUARY/2009
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - 2009 American Forts Network

Fort Niobrara
(Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge)
(1880 - 1906/1911), near Valentine
A Federal post near the mouth of Minnechaduze Creek, the site is at the present-day refuge headquarters building. Closed in 1906, it then became a cavalry Remount Station until 1911. Became a Federal Wildlife Refuge in 1912. An 1897 Hay Barn is the only remaining original structure on site. A few other structures may still exist elsewhere in Cherry County. The history of the post is described at the Cherry County Historical Society Museum (admission fee) in town.

Armas de Francia ? or ?
(unknown dates), near Jamison
A possible French or British (Canadian) post of some kind is shown on a 1795 Spanish map, located somewhere along the north bank of the Keya Paha River. Whether it was Spanish speculation or paranoia, no such post is known to have existed by either nation.

Camp Keya Paha
(1879), Naper
A temporary Army post located on the north bank of the Keya Paha River south of town. It was an outpost of Fort Randall in South Dakota.

Fort Hartsuff (State Historical Park)
(1874 - 1881), Elyria
A restored and reconstructed Army infantry post. Originally named Post on the North Fork Loup River. The fort was built to protect settlers and guard the Pawnee Indian Reservation. It was abandoned after Fort Niobrara was established, and sold to the Union Pacific Railroad. Nine concrete buildings still remain. Museum and visitor center on site. Admission fee.

Located about two miles north was Camp Ruggles (1874).

Post on the South Fork Loup River
(1865), Ravenna
A temporary summer outpost of Fort Kearny (2), located on the river south of town. Also known as Post Connor. Consisted of a log barracks and stable within a sod wall. Local legend maintains alternate names of Fort Desolation and Fort Banishment, for its desolate location at the time and as a place of punishment for bad behavior. Settlers dismantled the abandoned post for firewood in 1871.
(thanks to Jeff Barnes for providing info)

Fort Kearny (2) (State Historical Park)
(1848 - 1871), near Kearney
The state park contains a reconstructed adobe blacksmith and carpenter shop (1864), timber and sod powder magazine, and museum, located eight miles southeast of town. Originally named Post at Grand Island, then Fort Childs until 1849. Fort Gillette and Fort Mitchell (2) (with reconstructed log stockade) are two supporting earthwork fortifications from 1864 that were built during Indian troubles. The post later provided protection for Union Pacific Railroad workers and the Overland mail routes. The fort's buildings were primarily built of adobe, with two blockhouses made of heavy timber. Admission fee.
(NOTE: the town and county names are actually misspellings that the Post Office created, then refused to correct.)

Elm Creek Fort
(Harold Warp Pioneer Village)
(1869 or 1871), Minden
A restored settlers' stockaded log cabin for Indian defense. The primary structure displayed here was moved from its original location in Cowles in Webster County (Republican River Valley). Admission fee.

Plum Creek Post
(1864 - 1866), near Bertrand
A subpost of Fort McPherson, it was a 325-foot square stockade enclosing six buildings. Located south of the Platte River at Plum Creek, between Plum Creek Ranch and the Plum Creek stage station.

Camp Red Willow
(1872), near McCook
A temporary camp one mile from Red Willow Creek, east of town. Established by the Army escort to the hunting expedition of Russian Grand Duke Alexis, "Buffalo Bill" Cody, General Phil Sheridan, and Lt. Col. George Custer.

Post at (Patrick) Mullaly's Ranch Station
(1864 - 1866), near Gothenburg
A stage station known variously as the Cold Water Ranch Station, Midway Station, or Heavy Timber Station, that was stockaded with Officers' quarters, barracks and stables, for use by Nebraska Cavalry troops during Indian troubles. The station was attacked and destroyed by Indians in 1866. However, an original period structure still exists today on the privately owned "Lower 96 Ranch", three miles south of town, which bears a plaque by the Oregon Trail Memorial Association.

Gilman's Station Post
(1864 - 1866), near Brady
A state cavalry post at the stage station, a 150-foot square stockade with barracks. Located east of town near the county line.

Fort McPherson
(1863 - 1880), near Maxwell
Located at a fording point along the Oregon Trail two miles west of Cottonwood Springs. Originally named Cantonment McKean (2) in 1863. Then it was called Post at Cottonwood Springs (or Fort Cottonwood Springs) and later Fort Cottonwood from 1864 until 1866. One surviving structure, the Laundress' Quarters, is located at the Lincoln County Historical Society Museum (admission fee) in North Platte. Another structure is now part of the W.H. Merrick General Store in Maxwell. A 1928 monument marking the original fort site is located about one mile southeast of the old post cemetery. The cemetery, four miles south of town on NE 56A, was declared a National Cemetery in 1873.

Post at North Platte Station
(1867 - 1881), North Platte
Also called Camp Sergeant (or Sargent). During its first year the post was moved from the north-side of the railroad to the south-side. Located on West Front Street.

Fort Heath
(unknown), Lincoln County
Earthworks still exist. Undetermined exact location.
(thanks to John Ludwickson for providing info)

O'Fallon's Bluffs Post
(1864 - 1866), Sutherland
A 125-foot square stockade built by Iowa state cavalry troops to protect the stage station.

Alkali Station
(1864 - 1866), near Paxton
A stage station that was converted into a state cavalry post to guard the Oregon Trail. It was a quadrangular stockade with two blockhouses at opposite corners, with Officers' quarters, barracks, storehouses, and stables.

Beauvais Ranch Station Post
(1864 - 1866), Brule
A state cavalry 325-by-125-foot stockade enclosing Officers' quarters, barracks, storehouse, and stables, protecting the stage station. Some historians claim this may actually be the Diamond Springs Station.

Fort Grattan
(Ash Hollow State Historical Park)
(1855), near Lewellen
A 100-foot two-bastioned sod earthwork fort that was abandoned by the Army's Dragoons after only three weeks. Located at the entrance to the Ash Hollow Canyon. Site of the Battle of Ash Hollow (aka Battle of Blue Water) (September 1855), before the fort was built.

Fort Sidney
(1867 - 1894), Sidney
First known as Sidney Barracks until 1878. It was a subpost of Fort Sedgwick in Colorado. The post moved to a new site in 1869 and became an independent garrison in 1870. It was built to protect Union Pacific railroad workers. Three of the original post buildings remain in various locations in town. The 1884 Officers' quarters is presently operated as a museum by the Cheyenne County Historical Society at 6th Ave. and Jackson Street. The 1871 Post Commander's House is just south at 1108 Sixth Ave., and the 1872 octagonal powder magazine is south on Fifth Ave.. A state marker is located one block north of the museum.

Fort Clarke
(1876 - 1880's), Bridgeport
An Army blockhouse built to guard the North Platte River wagon bridge during the Black Hills gold rush, before the railroad went through South Dakota. A prairie fire destroyed the structure in 1910. A small civilian community was formed here at that time, known as Camp Clarke. No remains.

Robidoux Pass Trading Posts
(1848 - 1852), near Gering
The American Fur Co., under Andrew Drips, operated a short-lived trading post on the Oregon Trail at Robidoux Pass in the summer or fall of 1849, about eight miles west of town. Relocated in 1850 to a site off the main trail about six miles east of Robidoux Pass, in Helvas Canyon. (NOTE: The American Fur Co. probably named this post Fort John after the original Fort John (Fort Laramie) in Wyoming was sold to the U.S. Army in 1849.)

An independent trading post was first built here in 1848 by either Joseph E. Robidoux (oldest son of Joseph Robidoux of Missouri), or his uncle Antoine Robidoux. Also spelled Robideaux. After the 1849 California Gold Rush, Robidoux moved the post in 1850 about one mile southeast to Carter Canyon, which was also known as the Carter Canyon Post. It lasted until 1851, when the Mitchell Pass was opened and diverted away almost all of the trail traffic. This second post is the post that has been recreated (based on period sketches), located on Robidoux Road. See also Visit Scotts Bluff County

Fort Mitchell (3)
(1864 - 1867), near Scottsbluff
Located near the Mitchell Pass on the Oregon Trail, on the south bank of the North Platte River. A 100-by-180-foot loopholed adobe building with a palisaded corral and parade ground, it was originally called Camp Shuman. Redesignated Camp Mitchell (2) soon after, it never officially became a "fort". It was a subpost of Fort Laramie in Wyoming. A Pony Express station operated in the vicinity in 1860. Probable fort site was excavated in 2004 as part of a state road survey. State marker on NE 92 about two miles west of town, just south of junction with NE L-79G.

Fort Robinson (State Park)
(Fort Robinson Museum)
(1874 - 1948), Crawford
Originally named Post (Camp) at Red Cloud Indian Agency and Camp Robinson until 1878. Chief Crazy Horse was killed here in September 1877 while resisting arrest. The Indian Agency headquarters was relocated to Pine Ridge, SD in 1878. In 1919 the post became a Quartermaster Remount Station, and guarded a nearby German POW camp from 1942 to 1945. Also during World War II it was a training post for K-9 dog units. From 1948 to 1971 the former post was a USDA Agricultural Research Station. There are 49 military buildings remaining from the 1875 - 1912 period. The museum is in the former 1905 Post Headquarters. Separate admission fees to park and museum. The site of the Red Cloud Indian Agency and the WWII POW camp is located about one and one-half miles east of the fort.

Fort Montrose
(1891), Montrose
A temporary defense built by settlers, located two miles below the state line, 20 miles north of Crawford. It consisted of a circular trench with an underground chamber.

Fort Beaver Valley
(1891), near Chadron
A temporary defense built by settlers. Located 15 miles northwest of town.

James Bordeaux' Trading Post
(Museum of the Fur Trade)
(1837 - 1876), Bordeaux
A reconstructed (1956) American Fur Co. wintering house and trading post used off and on, originally a subpost of Fort John in Wyoming. Later operated independently by Bordeaux from 1849 until 1872. The post was taken over by Francis Boucher in 1872, but the Army closed it down after finding contraband munitions. Located three miles east of Chadron on Bordeaux Creek. Admission fee.

Camp Sheridan
(1874 - 1881), near Chadron
Located northeast of town and southwest of Whiteclay in Sheridan County. It was originally Post at Spotted Tail Indian Agency near Adaton, then moved to the west fork of Beaver Creek, 12 miles upstream from the White River. Also known as Fort Sheridan.

Fort Mirage Flats
(1891), near Hay Springs
A temporary sod-built "blockhouse" built by settlers, located southeast of town near Walgren Lake.

Camps of the Pine Ridge Campaign
(1890 - 1891), various locations
The Nebraska National Guard under Brig. General L.W. Colby established several fortified camps during the Pine Ridge campaign of 1890 - 1891, surrounding the Pine Ridge Indian Agency in the South Dakota Badlands after the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Some earthworks still remain on private property.
Camp at Chadron
Camp at Madden's Bridge at the crossing of White River near the mouth of Big Bordeaux Creek.
Camp at Stryker's Ranch 14 miles northeast of Chadron near Beaver Creek, three miles from site of Camp (Fort) Sheridan.
Camp at Swallow's Ranch on Beaver Creek about two miles from Adaton, the former site of the Spotted Tail Indian Agency.
Camp at Hay Springs
Camp near Cheney's Ranch ten miles north of Hay Springs on Beaver Creek.
Camp at Roger's Mill about 16 miles northwest of Rushville at the headwaters of a branch of White Clay Creek.
Camp at Rushville
Camp at Jareho's Ranch about 12 miles north of Rushville on the road to the Pine Ridge Indian Agency.
Camp at Morey's Ranch about 16 miles northeast of Rushville at the forks of Larabee Creek.
Camp at Gordon
Camp at Callin's Ranch at the headwaters of Antelope Creek.
Camp at Albany at the courthouse.

(thanks to John Ludwickson for providing info)

NOTE: Additional stage stations may have been fortified, and will be listed when data becomes available. Many other stage stations were not fortified and/or garrisoned with Army troop detachments, therefore those will not be listed.

NEED MORE INFO: Fort Grove (date ?) (location ?) possibly a trading post or civilian defense.
Towns: Palisade in Hitchcock County

Eastern Nebraska - page 1

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