American Forts: West


Fort Atkinson | Camp Augur | Cantonment Barbour | Fort Bellevue | Blue Springs Site
Cabanné's Post | Fort Calhoun | Cantonment Canfield | Fort Carlos | Cerré's Post | 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
Council Bluffs Agency | 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 Trading House
Camp McKean (1) | Camp Meiklejohn | Camp at the Military Bridge | Camp on the 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 | Papin's Post | Camp at Pawnee Agency | Pawnee Post | Pawnee Ranch Post
Pilcher's Post | Ponca Agency | Ponca Fort (1) | Fort Ponca (3) | Ponca Post (2)
Camp Ponca's Island | Pratte and Vasquez' Post | 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: 13/JULY/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2019 American Forts Network

Ponca Indian Fort (1) (Archaeological Site)
(1780's - 1800), near Verdel
A Ponca Indian fortified earth-lodge village visited and described by Spanish explorers in 1789, 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.

Spanish St. Louis fur traders Jean Meunier and Jacques Rolland stayed here or nearby in 1790 to conduct trade with the Poncas, and fellow St. Louis trader Solomon Petit was here in the winter of 1794-95. It is unclear if any of them built a proper cabin or post specifically to conduct trade therein, or if they simply used an existing Ponca earth-lodge structure provided for them. British traders from Canada may have visited and traded with the Poncas during the 1790's, but they never built any actual posts here.

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 Ponca tribe was relocated to Oklahoma after the Agency was closed.

Pascal Cerré's Post
(1820 - 1826 ?), Niobrara
A Berthold and Chouteau fur trade post located on the Missouri River just east of town.

Columbia Fur Co. Post (3)
(1826 ? - 1827 ?), Niobrara
An unnamed Columbia Fur Co. post was located in the area, probably just east of town.

Ponca Post (2)
(1827 - 1833), Niobrara
An American Fur Company post. Possibly the same site as either Cerré's Post or the Columbia Fur Company Post (3), or a new site altogether. Replaced by Fort Mitchell (1).

Pierre Papin's Post
(1829 - 1830), Niobrara
An independent fur trade post, sold to the American Fur Company in 1830 and then closed.

Sarpy's Post (1)
(1840's ? - 1853), Niobrara
A fur trade post located near the present-day Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, under one or the other of the Sarpy brothers (John or Peter). Charles Larpenteur ran the post for Sarpy during 1852-53.

Fort (David) Mitchell (1)
(1833 - 1837), Niobrara
An American Fur Co. trading post originally called Fort (Lucien) Fontenelle (2). The site is located near the ferry landing about three miles east of town. After it was closed, its log buildings and stockade were salvaged for firewood by passing steamboats going up and down the Missouri River.

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 in the fall of 1795 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. Abandoned in the spring of 1797. Lewis and Clark in 1804 referred to the former post as Mackay's Trading House. Also called Fort Carlos in Spanish reports. Exact location undetermined, site 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.

Pratte and Vasquez' Post
(1819 - unknown), near Decatur
A Berthold and Chouteau company trading post (built by Sylvestre Pratte and Antoine François Vasquez) located at an Omaha Indian village on the west side of the Missouri River, just north of town, about 45 miles north of Fort Atkinson. Site located on the present-day Omaha Indian Reservation.

Cruzatte's Trading Post
(1801 - 1802), near Blair
A trading post located at the mouth of Mill Creek. Lasted two seasons, and was abandoned before 1803. Built by either Joseph or Pierre Cruzatte (alt. sp. Cruzet). Pierre was the son, or younger brother, of Joseph. In 1804 Lewis and Clark, with Pierre Cruzatte among the expedition members, reported seeing the remains of a small trading fort in the area. Exact location undetermined, possibly lost to erosion.

Fort Atkinson (State Historical Park)
(Friends of Fort Atkinson)
(1819 - 1827), Fort Calhoun
Lewis and Clark's Camp Council Bluff (August 1804) was originally located here. General Henry Atkinson's military arm of the 1819 Yellowstone Expedition established Camp on the Missouri (or Cantonment Missouri), which was originally located about one and one-half to two miles upriver along the west bank of the river, then was relocated to this bluff after spring flooding in June 1820 and was then renamed Cantonment Council Bluffs. Atkinson and the troops did not continue with the rest of the expedition to the west, but stayed here instead. The post was renamed again in January 1821. This was the first Federal Army post west of the Missouri River. Closed in June 1827 to be replaced by Fort Leavenworth, KS. The fort was reconstructed beginning in 1961, and site excavations have been ongoing since then. No original structures remain above ground. The Missouri River's main 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.

Fort Lisa
(1809, 1812 - 1823), near Omaha
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Company trading post under Manuel Lisa. The first post here was only temporary, but was re-established in 1812 and became the main operating post of the company. Known as Fort Hunt by Lisa (between 1814 - 1817 when partnered with Theodore Hunt), or simply as Lisa's Fort (Post) to most others. Rebuilt or repaired in 1819. The presumed site is located just north of Hummel Park on the Missouri River. A 1927 marker (Nebraska Society, U.S. Daughters of 1812) is located on John J. Pershing Drive at Ponca Road. After Lisa died in August 1820 in St. Louis, the post was operated by Joshua Pilcher, who later relocated to Bellevue in 1823.

Lisa may have had an even earlier trade post built in this vicinity in 1807.

John Pierre Cabanné's Post
(1822 - 1834), near Omaha
A Berthold, Chouteau, and Pratte Company (aka the French Company) trade post (American Fur Co. after 1827) located on Ponca Creek, about one mile south of Fort Lisa. It was probably never stockaded for defense. Also originally known as Joseph Robidoux' Post, Cabanné's trading partner at the time. Cabanné was removed from his position in 1833, and the American Fur Company moved the post's inventory to Bellevue in 1834. A 1927 D.A.R. monument marks the general location of the original post near old Rockport. See also A History of Fur Trading in North Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse

Cantonment Barbour
(1825), Omaha
A temporary U.S. Army infantry camp used during the 1825 Upper Missouri Peace Treaty Expedition. Exact location undetermined, possibly sited near Fort Lisa or Cabanné's Post.

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 rented quarters at the Herndon Hotel (at Ninth and Farnum Streets). Two overflow campsites used by Iowa troops, named Camp Mitchell (1) and Camp McKean (1) (both 1863), were located on the then western edge of town. The post was formally replaced by Fort Omaha (Omaha Barracks).

Nearby along North Omaha Creek was Camp at the Military Bridge (1864), established after an Indian raid in the area.

Omaha Quartermaster Depot
(U.S. Army Reserve Training Center)
(1866 - 1947/present), Omaha
The Government Corral was originally located at present-day North 13th and Webster Streets along the Union Pacific railroad siding, about five miles south of Omaha Barracks/Fort Omaha. It was moved south in 1880 to a new site on the railroad centered on present-day 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 a barracks and supply depot 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. Several original brick buildings are still extant; the 1880 storehouse, the 1889 ordnance storehouse, and the 1894 commissary storehouse, as well as a few other buildings.

Fort Omaha
(Metropolitan Community College - Fort Omaha Campus)
A History of Fort Omaha by Adam Fletcher Sasse
(1868 - 1896/1905 - 1947/present), Omaha
Originally known as Camp Sherman or Sherman Barracks until 1869, then Omaha Barracks until 1878. Officially 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 civilian 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 located here on post. In 1975 the former post became the Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College. Several original brick 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). An 1881 Officers' quarters was moved in 1896 to 4758 North 24th Street as a private residence (demolished in the 1980's). An 1869 NCO Quarters was relocated in 1899 to 6327 Florence Blvd. as a private residence, where it still stands today. 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) after 1829, with his partner Andrew Drips, and now under the American Fur Company. Sold in 1831 to the government and became the Council Bluffs Indian Agency until 1838, in which it was also sometimes referred to as John Dougherty's Post, after the agent then in charge. Site excavated in 1972 - 73, marked by a D.A.R. plaque, located in the privately owned 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 and '50's. Sarpy moved to Plattsmouth in 1862, where he died in 1865.
This post became the nucleus of the state's first permanent white settlement.

Fort Crook
(Offutt Air Force Base)
(1891 - 1948/present), Bellevue
Established to formally 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 brick 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 - 1810), Bellevue
An independent trading post on the Missouri River just upstream of Papillion Creek. Attacked by Indians in 1810. It was abandoned before the winter of 1810-11 when Ramsay Crooks and Robert McClellan both had joined the Pacific Fur Company. Exact location undetermined.

Post of the Otos
(1795 - 1796, 1796 - 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 of a Spanish league above the mouth of the Platte River. Exact location undetermined. During the next trading season in 1796 a new winter post was built by Francisco Derouin (Don Frederico Autman) at a new location about two Spanish 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 post specifically built 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. No other information could be found as to its origin or nature.

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 to Utah.

Post at Columbus
(1863 - 1866), Columbus
A large stockade erected by settlers in the center of town, and occupied by Iowa cavalry the following year. "Galvanized Yankees" (ex-Confederates) were stationed here in 1865 to safeguard the Loup River bridge from Indian raids. The Army post was located in present Buffalo Square at 18th Avenue and 6th Street.

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 militia 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, 2.75 miles northwest of town at Oak Grove, to protect the stage station here. A small monument is located at the Little Blue Crossing. The 1864 Eubank Massacre took place nearby.

Pawnee Ranch Post
(1864 - 1866), near Deweese
A palisaded Army post with four bastions, located at Pawnee Creek and Little Blue River, about seven miles southwest of Fairfield, to protect the stage station here. Also here are remnants of the old town of Spring Ranch and a fenced-in grave from 1860.

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 underground 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), near Phillips
A stockaded complex of Officers' quarters, barracks, and stables, located near the Junction stage station on the south side of the Platte River.

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.

Western Nebraska - page 2

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