Fort Fetterman
   Fort Fetterman (1867-1882) - Established as a military post on 19 Jul 1867 by Major William McEnery Dye, with Companies A, C, H, and I, 4th U.S. Infantry. On 31 Jul 1867 the post was named Fort Fetterman in honor of Captain William J. Fetterman who was killed along with 80 men in the Fetterman massacre near Fort Phil Kearny, 21 Dec 1866. The fort was needed as a major supply point for the army operating against the Indians. Fort Fetterman History
   European-American civilization was advancing across the frontier along the line of the Union Pacific Railroad. The fort was built as a major supply point for the army's operating against the American Indians. Completed in July 1867, the new military post was named Fort Fetterman in honor of Capt. William J. Fetterman, who was killed in a fight with Indians near Fort Phil Kearny in December 1866.
   Fort Casper was abandoned when Fort Fetterman was completed and its garrison moved into the new fort in Aug 1867. Fort Fetterman was excluded from the provisions of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which resulted in the abandonment of all forts further to the north (Forts Reno, Fort Phil Kearny, and Fort C.F. Smith). It became the northernmost military post in eastern Wyoming, and important in protecting the Bozeman Trail and other routes for settlers.
   As it was on the southside of the Platte, Fort Fetterman was excluded from the provisions of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which resulted in the abandonment of all forts further to the north: forts Reno, Phil Kearny, and C.F. Smith). Thus, Fort Fetterman became the northernmost military post in eastern Wyoming. It was important to the protection of the Bozeman Trail and other routes for settlers.
   With its remote location, the post was not considered a desirable place to be stationed. Desertions were frequent, and the winters long and hard. Supplies had to be brought in by wagon from Fort Laramie to the southeast or from Medicine Bow Station on the railroad. Soldiers had to carry water up the steep bluffs from the river or nearby creek. The soil proved to be ineffective for sustaining gardens, so fresh vegetables were not available.
   During the mid-1870s and onset of the Black Hills War with the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, the monotony of camp life was broken by a series of major military expeditions, including Maj. Gen. George Crook's Powder River Expeditions and Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's 1876 campaign against Dull Knife. Fort Fetterman remained active until 1882, when it was abandoned by the Army as the Indian Wars had subsided.
   After the onset of the Black Hills War with the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, several major military expeditions passed through Fort Fetterman, including Maj. Gen. George Crook's Powder River Expeditions and Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's 1876 campaign against Dull Knife.

  

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Copyright - Trails to the Past - Friday, 31-Oct-2014 08:28:20 MDT