Fort Fred Steele in 1868

History of Fort Fred Steele

Fort Fred Steele Plan
Fort Fred Steele Plan

This fort was located at the point where the Union Pacific Railroad crosses the North Platte River, in Carbon County, and was established by Col. Richard I. Dodge on June 30, 1868, as a protection to the builders of the railroad. It was named in honor of Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele of Civil war fame. Within
forty-eight hours after the completion of the fort, camp followers to the number of five hundred or more had established the town of “Brownsville” nearby. Five days later the population of the town was estimated at fifteen hundred.

On June 28, 1869, the Government established the reservation of thirty-six square miles. The frame buildings of the post provided quarters for four companies and a garrison was maintained here for more than ten years. On January 24, 1878, Gen. George Crook, in his annual report, stated: “While no military necessity now exists for troops at Fort Fred Steele or Fort Sanders * * * yet they are cheap places for the stationing of troops.” The fort was finally abandoned in 1881.

Source: History of Wyoming, Volume 1, by I. S. Bartlett, Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1918

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