Banner in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
The Guard House:
Not just a Jail
Even though Fort Phil Kearny, like most frontier posts, had plenty of use for a jail, this was not the main function of the Guardhouse. The 50 by 32 foot, shingled building with a brick chimney, was used primarily for guard-mount. Guard-mount was the duty of protecting the post. Soldiers would be detached from their companies to this building on a repeated schedule for guard duty. From this building an individual soldier would be assigned to a guard-stand where he would guard the post on intervals of 2-hours-on, 4-hours-off for 24 hours. This was not an easy duty. During the harsh winter months the interval could drop to as a little as 20 minutes to prevent injury or death to the guard. Francis Grummond recounts a story in My Army Life of Indians sneaking up and shooting guards off the stand. One had to be vigilant.
For soldiers convicted of serious crimes the building did serve as a jail. In August 1866 records indicate that 24 prisoners were being held under guard in tents awaiting the completion of this building. Their crime was desertion. Lessor crimes might be punished by extra duty, wearing a ball and chain, wearing a barrel with a sign stating your offense, or even flogging.
Location. 44° 31.941′ N, 106° 49.513′ W. Marker is in Click for map. Marker is located inside Fort Phil Kearny. Marker is in this post office area: Banner WY 82832, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Fort Phil Kearny (a few steps from this marker); The Post Headquarters: (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civilians: (within shouting distance of this marker); The Sutlerís Store: (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cavalrymanís Quarters: (within shouting distance of this marker); The Band: (within shouting distance of this marker); The Hospital (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Laundress Row: (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Banner.
More about this marker. A map showing the Guard House location appears on the left side of the marker. Several pictures elsewhere on the marker depict various methods of punishment for prisoners.
Also see . . . Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 25, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 126 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.