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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Banner in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Fort Phil Kearny

Registered National Historic Landmark

 
 
Fort Phil Kearny Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, July 2003
1. Fort Phil Kearny Marker
partially reconstructed stockade visible behind.
Inscription.
The Land

The land under view where the Great Plains meets the Rocky Mountains was once the Red Man's land of milk and honey, then as now teaming with wildlife. It was a most productive--thus favorite--hunting ground. But it was also a natural route used from time immemorial by nomadic men and migratory beasts. Lying hundreds of miles beyond the 1860 frontier, it was treaty-confirmed Indian country.

Here came a frontiersman, John Bozeman, pioneering a wagon road which followed buffalo, Indian and trapper trails. His time and energy-saving short cut led to the booming mining fields of western Montana. This interloper was followed by miners whose habitual frontier callousness easily stifled any scruple over trespass of an Indian passageway. Faint wheel marks soon became a beaten road known as the Bozeman Trail.

High plains and mountain Indians, notably Sioux and Cheyenne, watching this transgression, resented both the physical act and the implied contempt of the solemn treaty. They made war. The White transgressor called upon their army for protection. In the end the Indians won a brief respite--partly because a developing railroad far to the south canceled the Bozeman Trail's short cut advantage.

The Fort

On July 13, 1866, Colonel Henry R. Carrington, leading four companies
Visitor Parking area at Fort Phil Kearny - marker is visible at left of photo image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, July 2003
2. Visitor Parking area at Fort Phil Kearny - marker is visible at left of photo
of the 18th Infantry, arrived at this site. Carrington, a competent engineer, immediately put his men to work. Through diligent labor they built, by October of that year, the basic units of what became an outstanding example of the complete, stockaded "Indian Wars" military establishment.

From here, as you face across the tablet, extends the ground where Fort Phil Kearny once stood. Replacement posts mark the original corners of the 800' x 600' stockade. Beyond, contiguous cavalry and quartermaster corrals are marked. At the south west end an animal watering watering gap jutted into Little Piney Creek. The Bozeman Trail passed roughly parallel to the north east side.

Fort Phil Kearny was usually garrisoned by four to six infantry companies, plus one or two companies of cavalry. However, so closely did the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors under the tactician Red Cloud invest the post that these troops were frequently unable to perform Bozeman Trail convoy duty. Incidents of hostility were the daily rule and several of the most famous engagements of the "Indian Wars" relate to this fort.

The military abandoned the fort in August 1868, and it was burned by a band of Cheyenne.
 
Erected by State of Wyoming.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location.
Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site - teepees exhibited near visitor's center. image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, July 3003
3. Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site - teepees exhibited near visitor's center.
44° 33.904′ N, 106° 53.533′ W. Marker is in Banner, Wyoming, in Sheridan County. Marker can be reached from Wagon Box Road 2 miles west of U.S. 87/I-90. Touch for map. Wagon Box Rd. is accessible via Story Road (WY 193 - Old U.S. 87). The Marker is off the public parking lot at the entrance to the Fort Kearney State Historic Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 528 Wagon Box Rd., Banner WY 82832, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Wagon Box Fight (approx. half a mile away); A Fight to Survive (approx. half a mile away); Wagon Box Monument (approx. half a mile away); Wagon Box Fight (approx. half a mile away); The Battle, August 2, 1867 (approx. half a mile away); Valor in Attack (approx. half a mile away); Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (approx. half a mile away); The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (approx. half a mile away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site. (Submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. The Fetterman Fight. (Submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Wikipedia entry for Wagon Box Fight. (Submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
4. Wikipedia entry for Red Cloud's War. (Submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Highway directions to the battlefields adjacent to Fort Kearny: image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, July 2003
4. Highway directions to the battlefields adjacent to Fort Kearny:
the Fetterman "Massacre" and the Wagon Box Fight sites, components of the National Historical Landmark.

 
Additional keywords. Red Cloud's War; Lakota.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryNative AmericansRoads & VehiclesWars, US Indian
 
Bozeman Trail route near Fort Phil Kearny image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, July 2003
5. Bozeman Trail route near Fort Phil Kearny
the Big Horn Mountain Range is visible on the horizon.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,669 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 23, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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