Western Nebraska

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

Camps of the Pine Ridge Campaign

Eastern Nebraska - page 1



Last Update: 13/JULY/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2019 American Forts Network

Colin Campbell's Post
(1830's ?), near Valentine
An American Fur Co. post located at the confluence of the Niobrara and Snake Rivers, about 25 miles west of town. Campbell previously worked for the Hudson's Bay Company.

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 wildlife refuge headquarters and visitor center. 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. Foundation outlines for several other buildings can still be discerned. A few other original structures may still exist elsewhere in Cherry County, relocated by private interests. The history of the post is also 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. Exact location undetermined. It was an outpost of Fort Randall in South Dakota, about 28 miles east.

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).

New Helena Fort
(1876), New Helena
A settlers' cedar-log fort built "at the Forsythe place" after news of a Sioux Indian attack on settlers in the Middle Loup valley in May 1876. The town received from the state government 14 rifles and 2000 rounds of cartidges, but the town was never attacked. The town was also known at the time as Victoria Creek.

Fort Garber
(1876), Douglas Grove
A settlers' log fort built in response to a Sioux Indian attack on settlers in the Middle Loup valley in May 1876. Also known as Fort Disappointment because there was never any further Indian attack in this area. The square fort had bastioned corners and could reportedly hold all the settlers of the town. A well was dug inside, and forty stands of arms were received from the state for the local company of Garber County Regulars under a Capt. W.H. Comstock. Custer County was originally named Garber County in 1875 (after newly elected state Governor Silas Garber), but was renamed in 1878.

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.

Post at Plum Creek Station
(1864 - 1866), near Bertrand
A subpost of Fort McPherson, it was a 325-foot square stockade enclosing six buildings. Also here is a fenced-in graveyard of 14 victims of the 1865 Plum Creek Massacre. Initially garrisoned by Nebraska cavalry, later by "Galvanized Yankees". Located south of the Platte River at Plum Creek, midway between Plum Creek Ranch and the Plum Creek stage station sites.

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. Also spelled Mullala's or Millillas in some historical documents.

Post at Gilman's Ranch / Station
(1864 - 1866), near Brady
A state cavalry post at the stage station, a 150-foot square stockade with barracks and stables. Located southeast of town near the county line. A marker is on private property.

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.

Morrow's Post
(1850's), near North Platte
A small trade store located on the Oregon/California Trail on the south bank of the Platte River, near the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers, a few miles east-southeast of town. Also known as Junction House.

Post at North Platte Station
(1867 - 1881), North Platte
Also called Camp Sergeant (or Sargent), it protected the railroad and also served as a supply depot. During its first year the post was moved from the north side of the railroad to the south side. One pine-built barracks survived well into the 20th century. Site located in the 400 block of West Front Street.

O'Fallon's Bluffs Post
(1864 - 1866), near Sutherland
A 125-foot square stockade with stables, barracks, and a blacksmith shop, built by Iowa cavalry troops to protect the stage station. Also known as Fort Heath. Earthwork remnants still exist on private property. The stage station was located northwest of the present-day Sutherland Reservoir, about two miles south and four miles west of town, and five miles west of where the Oregon and California Trails climbed up the bluffs along the south side of the South Platte River. The area was excavated in 1966 during the construction of I-80, which eliminated or cut down much of the bluffs. There is a modern wayside and rest area with interpretive markers on I-80 (mile 159) that describe the bluffs and the early pioneers, with a section of still-visible wagon ruts of the old trail.

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 sod stockade with two blockhouses at opposite corners, with Officers' quarters, barracks, storehouses, and stables. Site is on private property on the south bank of the South Platte River.

Post at Beauvais Ranch Station
(1864 - 1866), Brule
A state militia 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. Site is on private property.

Beauvais' Post
(1850 - 1853), near Lewellen
A small trail supply store located on the Oregon/California Trail on the south bank of the North Platte River near Ash Hollow Canyon.

Fort Grattan
(Ash Hollow State Historical Park)
(1855), near Lewellen
A 100-foot square 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. A large brush-covered mound along the river bank marks the location.

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 and barracks 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 in 1910 destroyed all the remaining structures. 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. opened a makeshift trading post in the fall of 1849 on the Oregon Trail, located on the east side of Robidoux Pass, within a few hundred yards of the Robidoux' Post. This may have been called Fort Scott. The post was relocated by Andrew Dripps in the spring of 1850 to a site off the main trail route in Helvas Canyon, about six miles east of Robidoux Pass and eight miles south of town. This second, more substantial post was named Fort John after the original Fort John (Fort Laramie) in Wyoming (sold by the American Fur Co. to the U.S. Army in 1849). The post was relocated north again in late 1851 to the newly opened route through Scotts Bluff Pass (renamed Mitchell Pass later in the 1860's). The post was finally abandoned in May 1852.

An independent trading post was first built here, on the eastern slope of Robidoux Pass, in 1848 by either Joseph E. Robidoux (oldest son of Joseph Robidoux of Missouri), or his uncle Antoine Robidoux (or by both ?). 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

A third Robidoux post (1852 - 1856) was supposedly located just east of Gering, closer to the North Platte River on the trail route along the river. Robidoux also apparently had another post (1850's) west of Scotts Bluff, on the right side of Horse Creek about one mile or so from its mouth, about three miles northeast of Lyman.

Fort Mitchell (3)
(1864 - 1867), near Terrytown
Located northwest of 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 the 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 proper.

Camp George Crook was located nearby in 1889 for the annual summer encampment of the Army's 17th Infantry Regiment.

Fort Montrose
(1891), Montrose
A temporary defense built by settlers, located two miles below the state line, about 20 miles north of Crawford. It consisted of a circular trench with a breastwork, and an underground chamber beneath. Site is marked, on a small hill on private property.

Fort Useless
(1891), near Whitney
A temporary sod defense built by settlers. The unmarked site is located about nine miles south of town on private property.

Chadron Creek Post
(1841 - 1845 ?), near Chadron
An independent trade post initially operated by Lancaster Lupton, located on Chadron Creek about six miles south of town. Lupton sold out to Sibille, Adams and Co. in 1842, and they in turn sold out to Pratte and Cabanné in 1843. Also known as Louis Chartran's Post after 1842, who continuously operated the post after Lupton sold out.

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 1868 when son Louis Bordeaux took over the post. The post was later taken over by Francis Boucher in 1872, but the Army closed it down in 1876 after finding contraband munitions being sold to the Sioux. Located three miles east of Chadron on Bordeaux Creek. Admission fee.

Fort Beaver Valley
(1891), near Chadron
A temporary sod defense built by settlers. The unmarked site is located about 15 miles northeast of town, near Camp Sheridan.

Camp Sheridan
(1874 - 1881), near Chadron
Located northeast of town and southwest of Whiteclay in Sheridan County. It was originally Camp (or Post) at Spotted Tail Indian Agency near Adaton, as a subpost of Fort Robinson, then moved, along with the Agency, to the west fork of Beaver Creek, about 12 miles upstream from the White River, and later becoming an independent post. Also called Fort Sheridan in some sources. No visible remains, site is on private property about 14 miles north of Hay Springs off of Beaver Road.

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 confirmed as such. Many stage stations were not officially 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

QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at NorthAmericanForts.com