American Forts: West


Fort Atkinson | Camp Augur | Cantonment Barbour | Fort Bellevue | Blue Springs Site
Cabanné's Post | Fort Calhoun | Cantonment Canfield | Fort Carlos | Fort Charles
Columbia Fur Co. Post (1) | Columbia Fur Co. Post (2) | Columbia Fur Co. Post (3)
Post at Columbus | Cottonwood Creek Site | Camp Council Bluff | Cantonment Council Bluffs
Fort Crook | Crooks - McClelland Post | Cruzatte's Post | Deroin's Post | Dougherty's Post
Elkhorn Camp | Engineer Cantonment | L. Fontenelle's Post (1) | Fort Fontenelle (2)
Fullerton Site | Genoa Site | Guide Rock Stockade | Fort Hunt | Fort Independence
Jackson Fort | Junction Station Post | Camp Kearny | Fort Kearny (1) | Fort Kiowa
Liberty Pole Camp | Lincoln Arsenal | Fort Lisa | Lisa's Fort (Post)
Little Blue (River) Station Post | Mackay's House | Camp McKean (1) | Camp Meiklejohn
Military Bridge Camp | Camp Missouri | Cantonment Missouri | Camp Mitchell (1)
Fort Mitchell (1) | Nánza | Fort O.K. | Omaha Barracks | Fort Omaha | Post of Omaha
Omaha Quartermaster Depot | Post of the Otos | Camp at Pawnee Agency | Pawnee Post
Pawnee Ranch Post | Pilcher's Post | Ponca Fort (1) | Fort Ponca (3) | Ponca Post (2)
Camp Ponca's Island | Camp Recovery | Red Cloud Stockade | Robidoux' Post | St. Deroin Fort
St. Helena Fort | Sarpy's Post (1) | P. Sarpy's Post (2) | Camp Saunders | Sherman Barracks
Camp Sherman | Camp Vincent

Western Nebraska - page 2



Last Update: 16/JULY/2013
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2013 American Forts Network

Ponca Indian Fort (1) (Archaeological Site)
(1790 - 1800), near Verdel
A Ponca Indian fortified earth-lodge village described by Spanish explorers, located on the south-side of the mouth of Ponca Creek, 1.25 miles from the bank of the Missouri River, about six miles upstream from the mouth of the Niobrara River. Also known as Nánza. Some earthen remnants are still extant.

Cantonment Canfield
(1855), near Verdel
A temporary Army post at the mouth of Ponca Creek.

Located nearby was Camp Ponca's Island (1856).

Fort Ponca (3)
(Ponca Agency Archaeological District)
(1865 - 1866), Knox County
A temporary Army post at the Ponca Indian Agency (1865 - 1877). The Poncas were relocated to Oklahoma after the Agency closed.

Columbia Fur Co. Post (3)
(1820's), near Niobrara
An unnamed Columbia Fur Co. post was located in the area.

Sarpy's Post (1)
(1820's ?, 1830's ?, or 1840's ?), Niobrara
A fur trade post located near the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, probably under one of the Sarpy brothers (John or Peter). Possibly also a reference to Fort Mitchell (1) below. This may have also been the American Fur Co. Ponca Post (2) (1827 - 1833).

Fort (David) Mitchell (1)
(1833 - 1837), Niobrara
An American Fur Co. trading post originally called Fort (Lucien) Fontenelle (2). This may be the same as Sarpy's Post (1).

Columbia Fur Co. Post (2)
(1820's), near St. Helena
An unnamed Columbia Fur Co. post was located in the area.

St. Helena Fort
(1864), St. Helena
A settlers' fort or stockade built during Indian troubles. Iowa cavalry troops were also here.

Jackson Fort
(1864), Jackson
A settlers' fort or stockade built during Indian troubles. Iowa cavalry troops were also here.

Fort Charles
(1795 - 1797), near Homer
A fortified trading post built by James (Jacques) Mackay of the Missouri Company (a former North West Co. trader who switched his allegiance to Spain), located on Omaha Creek about five miles southeast of the Omaha "Big Village" (Tonwontonga) somewhere near Blyburg Lake, about six miles south of Omadi on the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark in 1804 referred to this post as Mackay's Trading House. Also called Fort Carlos. Exact location undetermined, possibly eroded away.
The Spanish authorities in St. Louis in 1794 had believed that British (Canadian) traders had built or were planning to build a trading post somewhere near here. There never was such a post.

Pierre Cruzatte's Trading Post
(1799 ?), near Blair
A trading post built at the mouth of Mill Creek. Lasted two seasons, and was abandoned by 1803. In 1804 Lewis and Clark reported seeing the remains of a small unnamed trading fort in the area. Exact location undetermined.

Fort Atkinson (State Historical Park)
(Friends of Fort Atkinson)
(1819 - 1827), Fort Calhoun
Lewis and Clark's Camp Council Bluff (1804) was originally located here. General Henry Atkinson's military arm of the 1819 Yellowstone Expedition established Camp (Cantonment) Missouri, which was originally located about two miles upriver along the west bank of the river, then moved to this bluff after spring flooding in 1820 and was renamed Cantonment Council Bluffs. Atkinson and the troops did not continue the expedition to the west, but stayed here instead. The post was renamed again in 1821. This was the first Federal Army post west of the Missouri River. The fort was reconstructed beginning in 1961, and site excavations have been ongoing since then. No original structures above ground. The Missouri River channel has since moved four miles to the east. Admission fee.
(NOTE: The town of Fort Calhoun, founded in 1854, was originally called Fort Atkinson until 1858, but there was no fort actually named "Calhoun".)

The scientific arm of the 1819 Yellowstone Expedition, led by Major Stephen Long, established Engineer Cantonment, which was located several miles south of Cantonment Missouri, just north of Fort Lisa. In June 1820 this group continued the overland expedition west along the Platte River to the Rockies. Camp Recovery (1820) was located about three miles south of Cantonment Missouri to treat sick soldiers from unsanitary conditions during the winter encampment at both sites.

John Pierre Cabanné's Post
(1822 - 1834), near Omaha
An American Fur Co. trading post located between Omaha and Fort Calhoun. It was probably never stockaded for defense. Also originally known as Joseph Robidoux' Post, Cabanné's trading partner at the time. Cabanné moved the operation to Bellevue in 1834. A D.A.R. plaque marks the location.

Fort Lisa
(1809, 1812 - 1823), Omaha
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Company trading post under Manuel Lisa. It was rebuilt in 1812 and became the main post of the company. Known as Fort Hunt by Lisa, or as Lisa's Fort (Post) to others. The presumed site is located just north of Hummel Park on the Missouri River. After Lisa died in 1820 in St. Louis, the post was operated by Joshua Pilcher, who later relocated to Bellevue in 1823. Lisa may have had an earlier trade post built in the vicinity in 1807.

Cantonment Barbour
(1825), Omaha
A temporary US Army infantry camp used during the 1825 Upper Missouri Peace Treaty Expedition. Exact location undetermined, possibly sited near Fort Lisa.

Columbia Fur Co. Post (1)
(1820's), Omaha
An unnamed Columbia Fur Co. post was located in the area.

Post of Omaha
(1862 - 1866), Omaha
Headquarters of the Military District of Nebraska, which originally included the territorial capitol building (at 20th Street and Capitol Ave.) and the Herndon Hotel (at Ninth and Farnum Streets). Two overflow campsites called Camp Mitchell (1) and Camp McKean (1) (both 1863) were located on the then western edge of town. The post was replaced by Fort Omaha.

Nearby along North Omaha Creek was Camp at the Military Bridge (1864).

Omaha Quartermaster Depot
(U.S. Army Reserve Training Center)
(1866 - 1947/present), Omaha
Originally located at North 13th and Webster Streets along the railroad, about five miles south of Omaha Barracks/Fort Omaha. It was moved south in 1880 to a new site on the railroad centered on Woolworth Ave. at South 21st Street. Ordered closed in 1927, it remained open when the land could not be sold. Used by the Civilian Conservation Corps as barracks in the 1930's. Used as an Italian POW camp in WWII, as well as an Officers' ordnance school and automotive training center. Used by the NE National Guard and Army Reserves beginning in 1947.
(info provided courtesy of Jeff Barnes)

Fort Omaha
(Metropolitan Community College - Fort Omaha Campus)
(1868 - 1896/1905 - 1947/present), Omaha
Originally known as Camp Sherman or Sherman Barracks until 1869, then Omaha Barracks until 1878. Replaced by Fort Crook, however the post was still used sporadically from 1905 until 1947. During the Spanish-American War the post was used as a muster post for various state troops. One muster-out camp was known as Camp Meiklejohn. Became a Signal Corps School for non-commissioned officers from 1905 - 1913. The Army had its Observation Balloon School here from 1916 - 1921. The airfield in Florence was leased for balloon operations and other military activities from 1917 - 1949. During WWII the post became a support installation and induction center. Transferred to the Navy in 1947, used as a Naval Reserve Training Center until 1974. An Army Reserve unit is still on post. In 1975 the former post became the Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College. Several original buildings still remain, including the General Crook House Museum (1879) (admission fee), operated by the Douglas County Historical Society, located at 30th and Fort Streets. Also remaining are the Post Headquarters Building (1879) (now the college library), Quartermaster's office and commissary (1870's), Guardhouse (1884), ordnance magazine (1883), and mule stables (1870's). See also History and Photo Tour from Historic

Camp Augur (date ?) was an adjunct training facility. Camp Vincent (1872) was located west of town along the railroad.

(additional info provided courtesy of Jeff Barnes)

Joshua Pilcher's Post
(1823 - 1831), Bellevue
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post that replaced Fort Lisa. Never stockaded for defense. Also known as Lucien Fontenelle's Post (1). Sold in 1831 to the government and became the Council Bluffs Indian Agency until 1838, which was also sometimes referred to as John Dougherty's Post after the agent in charge. Site excavated in 1972 - 73, marked by a D.A.R. plaque. Located in the private Fontenelle Forest botanical and game preserve.

Fort Bellevue
(1834 - 1862), Bellevue
A major American Fur Co. trading post, also known as Peter Sarpy's Post (2) after 1840. Sarpy also operated a toll ferry crossing over the Missouri River near here in the 1840's. Sarpy moved to Plattsmouth in 1862, where he died in 1865.
This became the state's first permanent white settlement.

Fort Crook
(Offutt Air Force Base)
(1891 - 1948/present), Bellevue
Established to replace Fort Omaha, but that post stayed open. In 1924 Offutt Field was created for the Army Air Corps. The post was transferred to the Air Force and renamed in 1948, becoming the headquarters post of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), now the Air Combat Command (ACC). Officers' quarters, barracks, and other buildings from the old Army post still remain in use. Public access restricted without advance notice to the Public Affairs Office. Former home of the Strategic Air Command Museum, but that facility was relocated off base to Ashland as the Strategic Air and Space Museum at 28210 West Park Highway (admission fee).

Crooks - McClellan Trading Post
(1807 - 1811), Bellevue
An independent trading post on the Missouri River near Papillion Creek. Attacked by Indians in 1810. It was abandoned a year later when Ramsay Crooks and Robert McClellan both joined the Pacific Fur Company. Exact location undetermined.

Post of the Otos
(1795 - 1797), near La Platte
A wintering trading house built by James (Jacques) Mackay of the Missouri Company, located on the west bank of the Missouri River about one-half league above the mouth of the Platte River. Exact location undetermined. In 1796 it was possibly relocated by Francisco Derouin (Don Frederico Autman) to a new location about two leagues below the mouth of the Platte River (near Plattsmouth).
The Spanish authorities in St. Louis in 1794 had believed that British (Canadian) traders had built or were planning to build a blockhouse on the Platte River somewhere near the Oto villages. There never was such a post.

Fort Kearny (1)
(1846 - 1848), Nebraska City
Originally named Camp Kearny. This was the first Army fort to protect the Oregon Trail, but it was abandoned because this site was too far from the actual trail. The log buildings were left standing, and later became the nucleus of the new town. The blockhouse survived until 1888. A 1930's reconstruction of the blockhouse once stood on the original site at Table Creek, but was torn down in the 1990's and the state marker removed. An historical plaque (1931) of the fort still remains on the back of an Oregon Trail monument located about 50 feet north of the original fort site, at 6th Street and Central Avenue.
(additional info provided courtesy of Jeff Barnes)

Joseph Deroin's Trading Post
(Indian Cave State Park)
(1840's - unknown), near Shubert
Deroin originally built his trading post here in the 1840's. Also known as St. Deroin Fort. The village of St. Deroin was not laid out until 1853, and was populated until about 1920. A restored 1854 log cabin is located here in the state park, as well as a later-period general store and schoolhouse.

Lewis and Clark camped at this location in 1804. They reported seeing a small unnamed trading fort in the area at that time.

Elkhorn Camp
(1855), near Fremont
A state militia temporary summer encampment on the Elkhorn River during negotiations with the Pawnees. The troops spent most of the time fishing. The incident became known as the "Catfish War".

Liberty Pole Camp
(1847), Fremont
A staging camp established by Mormon pioneers at the start of their westward movement.

Post at Columbus
(1863 - 1866), Columbus
A large stockade erected by settlers and occupied by the Army the following year. "Galvanized Yankees" (ex-Confederates) were stationed here after the Civil War to safeguard the Loup River bridge.

Pawnee Post
(1829 - 1830), near Columbus
A temporary American Fur Co. trading post located at the Pawnee Indian villages on the Loup River.

Camp at Pawnee Indian Agency
(Genoa Archaeological Site)
(1857 ?), Genoa
A temporary Federal post to protect the newly established Indian Agency at the mouth of Beaver Creek. The Pawnees had earlier established a fortified earth-lodge village here in 1847 (Genoa Site) after their village near present-day Fullerton was destroyed. The Agency, opened in 1857, closed in 1876 when the Pawnees were relocated to Oklahoma.

Fullerton Archaeological Site
(1842 - 1846), Fullerton
A fortified Pawnee earth-lodge village that was burned by the Sioux in 1846.

Cottonwood Creek Archaeological Site
(1790's ? - 1840's), near Palmer
A fortified Pawnee earth-lodge village on the Loup River. Visited and described by Stephen Long's Expedition in 1820. It was abandoned before 1845.

Camp Alvin Saunders
(1898), Lincoln
A Spanish-American War state muster camp located at the Lancaster County Fairgrounds, now the State Fairgrounds, located at 1800 State Fair Drive. The post only operated for three weeks.

Lincoln Arsenal
(1913 - 1963), Lincoln
A state arsenal used by the National Guard as a supply warehouse. The two-story brick building was the first permanent structure built for the state guard. Transferred to the state fair board in 1963, it became a National Guard museum in 2010. Located on Court Street at North 17th Street.

Blue Springs Archaeological Site
(1790's - 1825), Blue Springs
A fortified Pawnee earth-lodge village on a hilltop overlooking the Big Blue River. First excavated in 1904, the defensive earthworks and village remnants were still extant at that time.

Fort Kiowa
(1864 - 1866), near Hebron
A state militia cavalry (?) post at the Kiowa stage station located along the Oregon Trail northwest of town. It was also once used as a Pony Express station in 1860.

Also of interest located nearby, east of Fairbury, is Rock Creek Station State Historical Park, also a former Pony Express and stage station.

Little Blue (River) Station Post
(1864 - 1866), near Oak
A state militia stockaded guardpost located on the north-side of the Little Blue River, three miles northwest of town at Oak Grove, to protect the stage station.

Pawnee Ranch Post
(1864 - 1866), near Deweese
A palisaded Army post with four bastions, located at Pawnee Creek and Little Blue River, seven miles southwest of Fairfield, to protect the stage station.

Guide Rock Stockade
(1870), Guide Rock
A settlers' stockade for Indian defense, located on Soap Creek. Also known as the Lower Stockade.

Red Cloud Stockade
(1870), Red Cloud
A settlers' stockade for Indian defense. Also known as the Upper Stockade.

Fort Independence
(Stolley Park)
(1864 - 1865), Grand Island
A 24-foot square log and sod settlers' fort built by William Stolley to shelter about 35 people during Indian troubles. Built after the O.K. Store was fortified (see below). Some of the fort's timber is said to have later been used to construct a school in 1869 (still extant). Underneath the fort was an 88-foot long chamber used as a stable. Adjacent to the fort/cave site is the original Stolley homestead, which was built in 1858.

Fort O.K.
(1864 - 1865), Grand Island
A stockade was built around the O.K. Store (1862) and telegraph station by the local settlers, located about two miles east of Fort Independence, to shelter about 160 people during Indian troubles. The Army gave the town a 6-pounder gun in 1865 to use at the fort. The cannon is now incorporated into a monument at the county courthouse. A state marker is located at the county fairgrounds (Fonner Park).
(info provided courtesy of Jeff Barnes)

Junction Station Post
(1864 - 1866), Grand Island
A stockaded complex of Officers' quarters, barracks, and stables, located near the Junction stage station.

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.

Western Nebraska - page 2

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