Wyoming Logo is Exclusive Property of Mary and Don Saban. Perpetual Copyright 1998 All Rights Reserved.

U.S. ARMY FRONTIER POSTS IN WYOMING

Generally, a "camp" was not an official U.S. military post, whereas a "fort" was usually the designation for the official U.S. military post. The U.S. Army utilized both during the Frontier Campaigns.

Where we have found names of individuals connected to a specific fort or camp, we have added it here for historical/genealogical reference.

Quick Link - List of Names in this document

Camp Augur

  • Established June 28, 1869 in the Popo Agie Valley where Lander now sits.

  • Sub-post of Fort Bridger

  • Named after Brigadier General Christopher C. Augur. Established by First Lieutenant Patrick Henry Breslin, 4th U.S. Infantry.

  • Reorganized as a separate post on March 28, 1870 and renamed Camp Brown (see Camp Brown).

Camp Brown

  • Established March 28, 1870 (reorganized from Camp Augur) as a separate post.

  • Named after Captain Frederick H. Brown, 18th U.S. Infantry - killed in the Fetterman massacre on December 21, 1866.

  • This site was abandoned 1871 and moved fifteen miles northwest of Lander onto the Wind River Indian Reservation. It was later renamed Fort Washakie in December 1878, after Chief Washakie.

Camp Cantonment

  • Originally established on October 12, 1876 as Cantonment Reno, three miles south of Fort Reno, abandoned by then.

  • Captain Edwin Pollock, 9th U.S. Infantry, was the commanding officer who established Cantonment Reno as one of a series of depots.and named it.

  • Renamed Fort McKinney on August 30, 1877 after First Lieutenant John A. McKinney, 4th U.S. Cavalry, killed by hostile Indians on November 25, 1876.

  • Abandoned on June 17, 1878 due to the site being considered unhealthy.

Camp Carlin

  • Established in September 1867 as a supply depot between Fort D.A. Russell and the city of Cheyenne.

  • Named after Capt. Elias B. Carling, Asst Quartermaster.

  • Officially designated as Cheyenne Depot.

  • Dismantled in 1890.

Camp Sheridan

  • Established August 17, 1886 within Yellowstone National Park on Beaver Creek near Mammoth Hot springs. The entire purpose of the post was to protect the park, enforce gaming laws and guard the area from vandals and commercial entities who might damage the natural wonders.

  • Built by Capt. Moses Harris, 1st U.S. Cavalry and named after Lieutenant General Phillip Sheridan.

  • Name was officially changed to Fort Yellowstone in 1891.

Camp Stambaugh

  • Established August 20, 1870 at Smith's Gulch, between Atlantic City and the Oregon Trail and eight miles north of the Sweetwater River.

  • Built by Major James S. Brisbin, 2nd U.S. Cavalty and named for First Lieutenant Charles B. Stambaugh, 2nd U.S. Cavalry who was killed by hostile Indians on May 4, 1870 near Miner's Delight, Wyoming.

  • Abandoned in August 1878 and transferred to the Interior Department on May 3, 1881.

Fort Aspen Hut

  • Established June 1858, but very brief lived. Along the Oregon Trail, south of South Pass City.

  • Supply house along the Oregon Trail.

Fort Bonneville

  • Capt B.L.E. de Bonneville traveled over South Pass and built Fort Bonneville in the upper Green River area. It was also called Fort Nonsense because of its location.

  • We do not know if this was an official U.S. Army post.

Camp Walbach

  • Established on September 20, 1858, between Cheyenne Pass and the town of Laramie.

  • Named for Colonel John De Barth Walbach, 4th U.S. Artillery who died on June 10, 1857.

  • Abandoned in April 1859.

Fort Bridger

  • Originally a trading post established by Jim Bridger and Luis Vasquez in 1842.

  • Located on Black's Fork of the Green River near or at present day Fort Bridger.

  • Purchased (under questionable circumstances) by the Mormons in 1855 who operated it until October 1857 when it was burned and abandoned due to the Utah War.

  • Leased to the U.S. Army on November 18, 1857 by Jim Bridger. Became Fort Bridger officially on June 7, 1858.

    • Major William Hoffman, 6th U.S. Infantry - first commanding officer

    • Major Edward R.S. Canby, 10th U.S. Infantry - successor to Hoffman

  • W. A. Carter accompanied Col. A. S. Johnston to Ft. Bridger in 1857 and became the first post sutler that year. He later became a judge in the territory.

  • Treaty with the Shoshone Indians signed by Chief Washakie at Fort Bridger.

  • A Mr. Ward was the sutler at the post in 1864, and a Mr. Morgan was the surveyor for the Union Pacific Railroad.

  • Nara photo of a social afternoon at Ft. bridger 1877 http://www.treasurenet.com/cgi-bin/treasure/images.pl/Search?search=%2bSub_Category%3a%22Soldiering%20in%20the%20West%22  

  • Abandoned November 6, 1890 and it was transferred to the Interior Department on October 14, 1890.

Fort Carrington

  • Established July 13, 1866 at the base of the Big Horn Mountain between the Little and Big Piney Creeks, about 15 miles north of present Buffalo.

  • Named originally after Colonel Henry B. Carrington, 18th U.S. Infantry

  • Renamed shortly after Major General Philip Kearny - killed in the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia in 1862. See Fort Phil Kearny.

  • Abandoned on July 31, 1868 due to the Fort Laramie Treaty.

    • Buildings burned by the Sioux Indians shortly thereafter.

    • Transferred on October 14, 1890 to the U.S. Interior Department and abandoned by the U.S. Army on November 6, 1890.

Fort Caspar

  • Established May 1862 as a regular military post known as Platte Bridge Station where present day Casper, Wyoming sits. The fort was on the south side of the North Platte River, a point along the Oregon Trail. The location was perfect for fording the river as well as a resting place for immigrants to rest on their travels. The area was garrisoned by U.S. Army Cavalry troops from 1858 until it was abandoned in 1867. The name of Casper Wyoming came from the Fort. The name originally was spelled Caspar but changed over the years due to continual misspellings.

    • Known as Camp Platte from 1840 to 1847.

    • Known as Mormon Ferry from 1847 to 1858.

    • Cholera hit the area, with the death of Sam Miller, a mule driver for Major Cross' Mountain Rifles. The epidemic spread throughout the military units, civilians, Indians and emigrants. Cholera drew no lines - it affected everyone.

    • Known as Platte Bridge Station from 1858 (when construction began on a new 1,000 foot bridge to cross the North Platte River) to November 21, 1865 when it was renamed in honor of First Lieutenant Caspar W. Collins, 11th Ohio Cavalry, killed on July 26, 1865 in a battle at this post.

      • The bridge was built by a civilian contractor by the name of Louis Guinard.

      • On December 31, 1864 the following companies were listed as able and "in the saddle"(1):

        • One company 11th Ohio Cavalry

      • July 26, 1865 - A wagon supply train led by Sgt. Amos Custard and a small unti led by 1st Lt. Caspar W. Collins was nearly wiped out near Platte Bridge Station. Only three survived out of twenty nine.

    • Abandoned on October 19, 1867. Structures were burned by the Indians in the area. They have been rebuilt and the area is now a park.

Fort Connor

  • Established August 14, 1865 on the Bozeman Trail along the Powder River, twenty two miles from present day Kaycee Wyoming.

  • July 28, 1865 Brigadier General Patrick E. Connor began his Powder River Campaign to "rein in the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Sioux". On his side were a large number of Pawnee Indians who served as scouts as well as soldiers in the campaign. Despite a few wins, the entire campaign was a failure. He was relieved of his duty here and sent to Utah by 1866.

  • Named after Brigadier General Patrick E. Connor. and it was built under the supervision of Colonel James H. Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry.

  • November 11, 1856, it was renamed Fort Reno, to honor Major Jesse L. Reno who died on September 14, 1862 at the Battle of South Mountain.

Fort D. A. Russell

  • Located three miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming on Crow Creek, it was established on July 21, 1867.

  • Site selected by Colonel Christopher C. Augur, 12th U.S. Infantry. At the same time, Major General Grenville M. Dodge selected the site for a construction camp for the Union Pacific Railway, later to become the city of Cheyenne.

  • Officially named Fort D.A. Russell on September 8, 1867, to honor Brigadier General David A. Russell who died on September 19, 1864 in Virginia at the Battle of Opequon.

  • The first vigilante hanging occurred in Cheyenne in March 1868. His name was Charles Martin. The coroner's jury had the following men listed: F. W. Wilkinson, E. M. Tower, John H. Follett, Harry Powers, Fred Clifford, Bud Sternburger, Dr. F. W. Johnson, Coroner.

  • On January 1, 1930, the name of Fort D. A. Russell was officially changed to Fort Francis E. Warren, in honor of the first governor of Wyoming and a Civil War veteran. Fort Francis E. Warren later became Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, which is still active and vital part of the United States Air Force.

  • Collection of Photos - Fort D. A. Russell updated

Fort Fetterman

  • Established July 19, 1867 along the south side of the North Platte River, near the mouth of La Prele Creek at the juncture with the Bozeman Trail North.

  • First commanding offier was Major William McEntyre Dye, 4th U.S. Infantry who named the fort for Captain William J. Fetterman, 27th U.S. Infantry, killed in the Fetterman Massacre on December 21, 1866 up near Fort Phil Kearny.

  • November 25, 1876 Colonel Mackenzie with 1,100 men fought a decisive battle on Crazy Woman Creek near what is now Kaycee against Chief Dull Knife of the Northern Cheyenne Indians. The army lost seven men, including Lt. John A. McKinney for whom a post was named in 1877. After the battle was over, the soldiers found hard evidence that this group of Northern Cheyenne had been at the Little Big Horn. They even found unopened letters home from soldiers, horses branded with 7C and quite a large amount of equipment with the 7th Cavalry markings on them.

  • Sold in 1882, military custody ceased in November 1882. And on July 22, 1884 it was transferred to the Interior Department.

  • Photo of the ruins of Ft. Fetterman

Fort Fred Steele

  • Established June 30, 1868 on the North Platte River, about fifteen miles east of what is now Rawlins, Wyoming at the point where the Union Pacific Railroad crossed the river.

  • Built by Major Richard I. Dodge, 30th U.S. Infantry and named for Colonel Frederick Steele, 20th U.S. Infantry who died on January 12, 1868.

  • Abandoned in 1886 and transferred to the Interior Department in August 1886.

Fort Halleck

  • Established July 20, 1862 at the base of Elk Mountain and west of the Medicine Bow River.

  • Built by Major John O'Ferrall, 11th Ohio Cavalry.

  • Named for Major General Henry W. Halleck.

  • On December 31, 1864 the following companies were listed as able and "in the saddle"(1):

    • One company of the 11th Ohio Cavalry

  • 1870 Territorial Census of Ft. Halleck (civilians still there)

  • Abandoned July 4, 1866 and transferred to the Interior Department in October 1886.

Fort John Buford

  • Established July 10, 1866 three miles south of the town of Laramie and a little over a mile east of the Laramie River.

  • Built by Captain Henry R. Mizner, 18th U.S. Infantry, under the order of Major General John Pope. It was named for Major General John Buford.

Fort Laramie

  • Robert Campbell and William Sublette established a trading post and called it Fort Laramie.

  • June 14, 1845 - Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny and Captain Phillip St. George Cooke arrived at Ft. Laramie with their five companies of the First Dragoons (280 men plus supplies).

  • 1848 Colonel W.W. Loring arrived at Ft. Laramie where he left Major W. F. Sanderson with two companies of riflemen and one company of infantry.

  • 1848 Lt. Howard Stansbury of the Corps of Topographical Engineers arrived at Ft. Laramie to begin their trip over South Pass to Salt Lake City. Second in command was 2nd Lt. John W. Gunnison.

  • May 1849 Pawnee, a correspondent for the Missouri Republican, wrote that four hundred and seventy-six wagons had passed Ft. Laramie since the ice broke, all heading West to California.

  • The former trading post of Fort Laramie was purchased on June 26, 1849. The name of Fort Laramie was retained.

    • Located on the left bank of the Laramie River about one mile above the junction of the North Platte. The Laramie River was named after Jacques Laramie, a French trapper killed by Arapaho Indians in 1821 near the headwaters of the river.

    • Originally built in 1834 and named Fort William after William Sublette, William Anderson and William Patton.

    • Name changed to Fort John. It is believed that this was named after a John B. Sarpy.

    • The name of Fort Laramie was simply the one used for many years by trappers, military and Indians alike.

    • A strategic point along the Oregon Trail.

  • 1851 - Treaty of 1851 was signed at Ft. Laramie in late Summer of 1851

  • June 5, 1853 the first hostile confrontation occurred between the Sioux Indians and the U.S. Army. Sent to the Sioux village to investigate the hijacking of a ferry boat, Lt. H. B. Fleming ended up in a skirmish with the Indians, killing three, wounding three and capturing several Sioux braves to return to Ft. Laramie.

  • August 18, 1854, Lt. John Grattan and all of his men were killed near Fort Laramie when they entered a Sioux village to investigate the theft of a cow.

  • Within weeks of the "Grattan Massacre" the garrison at Ft. Laramie increased by around 100 men led by Major William Hoffman.

  • May 30, 1862 the 11th Ohio Cavalry commanded by Col. William O. Collins arrived at Fort Laramie for a three tour of duty.

  • 1864 - Colonel Thomas Moonlight was the commanding officer at Ft. Laramie. Later relieved of his command due to a series of blunders in mishandling both Indians and his troops.

  • On December 31, 1864 the following companies were listed as able and "in the saddle"(1):

    • Four companies 11th Ohio Cavalry; one company of the 7th Iowa Cavalry.

    • On December 31, 1864, Fort Laramie, Idaho Territory, was the Headquarters for the West Sub-District, District of Nebraska. Commanding Officer was Lt. Col. William O. Collins (1).

  • May 26, 1865 - Colonel Moonlight hung two Oglala Indian chiefs as a retaliation for "various atrocities" - Black Foot and Two Foot. A Mrs. Ewbanks and her daughter had been rescued from the Indians and indeed had suffered horrible deprevations. However, Colonel Moonlight took it upon himself to be "judge, jury and hangman" and retaliate as well as use them as an example in teaching the Indians a "lesson". The effect of course was the opposite - the various tribes worked even closer together to try to defeat the whites and drive them from their homelands.

  • Finally abandoned on March 2, 1890, although the order was dated August 31, 1889. Transferred to the Interior Department in 1890 (partial) and 1897 (remainder). It is now a national monument.

Fort McKinney

  • Camp Cantonment was renamed Fort McKinney on August 30, 1877 after First Lieutenant John A. McKinney, 4th U.S. Cavalry, killed by hostile Indians on November 25, 1876 at Crazy Woman Creek in the battle with the Northern Cheyenne Dull Knife and his warriors.

  • Abandoned on June 17, 1878 due to the site being considered unhealthy.

  • A new site was established in 1878 on Clear Creek just west of the present town of Buffalo. Renamed McKinney Depot.

  • Abandoned on November 9, 1894 and the buildings, with two sections of land, given to the state of Wyoming in 1895.

  • In 1903, the post became the Wyoming State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home.

Fort Phil Kearny

  • Established July 13, 1866 at the base of the Big Horn Mountain between the Little and Big Piney Creeks, about 15 miles north of present Buffalo, one of three posts along the Bozeman Trail (Fort Reno in Wyoming and Fort Smith in Montana were the other two.)

  • Named originally after Colonel Henry B. Carrington, 18th U.S. Infantry

  • Renamed shortly after Major General Philip Kearny - killed in the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia in 1862. See Fort Carrington.

  • December 21, 1866 -"Fort Kearny Massacre" - eighty one soldiers killed, including Captain William J. Fetterman. It should not have been called a massacre, as it was in fact a battle with sides fighting. Capt. Fetterman had foolishly led his men into an ambush by Chief Red Cloud and his Sioux warriors.

  • Colonel Carrington sent John "Portugee" Phillips on horseback to Fort Laramie for help. In January 1867, Col. Carrington was relieved of his duty and sent first to Ft. Caspar and then back to Ft. McPherson in Nebraska.

  • August 2, 1867 - Wagon Box Battle was fought between then Capt. James Powell, Company C of the 27th Infantry, and Chief Red Cloud's Sioux Indians.

  • Capt Powell had one other officer, 1st Lt. John C. Jenness and 51 enlisted men. R. J. Smith was the civilian teamster, along with his partner and four civilians.

  • This was one day after the Hayfield Battle which happened farther north, just over the Montana line closer to Fort C. F. Smith. Lt. Sternberg, one unidentified soldier and one civilian died at Hayfield Battle. Three soldiers died at Wagon Box- Lt. John C. Jenness, Private Henry Haggerty and Private Tommy Doyle plus four unidentified soldiers.

  • The Ogalla Sioux were led by Fire Thunder and Crazy Horse, the Miniconjous Sioux by High Hump and the Sans Arc by Thunderhawk. All were a part of Chief Red Cloud's federation to drive out the white man from the northern part of Wyoming which was part of their homeland. We only have one name of the Native Americans who died in the battle - Jipala, a Miniconjous Sioux. The Indians lost several hundred warriors, but no official count exists.

A monument has been erected commemorating the site.

  • Abandoned on July 31, 1868 due to the Fort Laramie Treaty.

    • Buildings burned by the Sioux Indians shortly thereafter.

Fort Pine Bluffs

"One Fort I didn't see, but may have missed is Fort Pine Bluffs, Wyo Terr.  This is shown in the 1870 Census.  It shows Co. C, 5th Calvary.  My understanding is that this was a small escort calvary.  One history book indicates that they were putting Chief Red Cloud on the train there to go back east to sign a treaty.  They were at Fort Pine Bluff because they feared a white lynching in Cheyenne. 

Oral history I have heard has been that Fort Pine Bluff, WT  was used for horses to supply the calvary. One soldier that was in Co. C, 5th Calvary at Pine Bluff, 1870 Census was my great grandfather, Christopher Streaks (Streeks).  He served from 8-21-1866 enlisted in Wash DC.  Discharged Fort Sidney, ( NE) 8-21-187l.  Buried in Cheyenne.  Col. Eugene Carr was commander of this Calvary, then went on later to capture Geranimo.  William Cody, Buffalo Bill, was the scout for this calvary." Verla (Streeks) Floyd vellen@fidnet.com

Fort Rawlins

Fort Reno

  • Established November 11, 1856 when it was officially renamed from it's prior name of Fort Connor.

    • subsequent commanders were Colonel Henry B. Carrington, 18th U.S. Infantry and Captain Joseph L. Proctor, 18th U.S. Infantry.

  • Abandoned August 18, 1868 because of the Fort Laramie Treaty of April 1868 with the Sioux Indians. The buildings were almost immediately burned by the Sioux.

Fort Sanders

  • Fort John Buford was renamed Fort Sanders on September 5, 1866, to honor Brigadier General William P. Sanders, who died at Knoxville, Tennessee on November 19, 1863.

  • Abandoned on May 22, 1882 and transferred to the Interior Department in August 1882.

Fort Thompson

  • Established at present day Lander and existed from October 3, 1857 to February 25, 1858.

  • At first was a winter camp for William F. Magraw, road contractor and later leader of a volunteer Army unit.

Fort Washakie

  • Established in January 1871 by Captain Robert A. Torrey, 13th U.S. Infantry about fifteen miles northwest of Lander at the confluence of the Little Wind River and North Fork of the Wind.

  • It was the center of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

  • Originally called Camp Brown, it was designated Fort Washakie on December 30, 1878 and named to honor Chief Washakie, the great chief of the Shoshoni Indians.

  • 1892 Chief Washakie, some of his people and the U.S. soldiers at Ft. Washakie - Wyoming Tales and Trails http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/wash.html

  • Fort Washakie as a U.S. military post was officially abandoned on March 30, 1909 and transferred to the Interior Department. It then became headquarters for the Shoshoni Agency.

Fort Yellowstone

  • Camp Sheridan was officially renamed Fort Yellowstone on May 11, 1891.

  • Abandoned in 1918.

From Fort Laramie to South Pass Station, the U.S. Army established stations to protect the Pacific Telegraph as well as travelers along the Oregon Trail. Leaving Fort Laramie, traveling west, the following stations were established:

  • Horseshoe Creek Station

  • La Bonte Station (Camp Marshall)

  • La Prelle Station

  • Deer Creek Station

  • Platte Bridge Station - see Fort Casper above.

  • Sweetwater Station

  • Three Crossings Station

  • Rocky Ridge Station (St. Mary's Station)

  • South Pass Station (Burnt Ranch)

In 1862 the Overland mail route was moved south, along Southern Wyoming. Mail stations were established which were also used by the U.S. Army (east to west):

  • Rock Creek (Arlington)

  • Elk Mountain (Medicine Bow)

  • Fort Halleck (see above)

  • Pass Creek

  • North Platte Crossing

  • Sage Creek

  • Pine grove

  • Bridger Pass

  • Sulphur Back Butte,

  • Rock Point

  • Salt Wells

  • Rocky Springs

  • Green River

  • Lone Tree

(Source of mail route data: Dangerous Duty by John D. McDermott).

 

Page created March 24, 2002 by Mary and Don Saban. Perpetual Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved.

Return to Wyoming Veterans and Wyoming History Homepage

Return to Big Horn, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Hot Springs, Goshen, Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Platte, and the Wind River Reservation.

Sources used for data:

(1) The Indian War of 1864 by Captain Eugene F. Ware

Forts of the West by Robert W. Frazer

The Yellowstone Command by Jerome A. Greene

The Wagon Box Fight by Jerry Keenan.

Dangerous Duty by John D. McDermott.

Various and asundry encyclopedias etc to cross reference dates.

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