Under an order dated September 20, 1858, Fort Walbach was established on Lodge Pole Creek, near Cheyenne Pass, eighty-five miles southwest of Fort Laramie. It was named in honor of Brig. Gen. John DeB. Walbach, a distinguished soldier of the War of 181 2. As the post was not intended as a permanent institution, only buildings of a temporary nature were constructed. The fort was abandoned on April 19, 1859. The site of this old fort was marked by the Wyoming Daughters of the American Revolution in 1914.
Shortly after the establishment of Fort Russell and the completion of the railroad across the continent, supplies that were formerly transported by wagon were shipped by rail and it became necessary to establish distributing points for handling army freight. Accordingly a quartermaster’s depot was located at Cheyenne, or more properly, on the Fort Russell reserve about half way between the city and the fort. When first located it was given the name of Camp Carlin, but when enlarged and completed it obtained the official name of “Cheyenne Depot.” The central situation of Cheyenne between Omaha and Salt Lake City and …
For the protection of the men engaged in the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, military camps were established along the line in advance of the working forces. A year before the road was completed to the present site of Cheyenne, Gen. Grenville M. Dodge with his corps of engineers and a company of soldiers, encamped on Crow Creek where Fort Russell is now located. They lived in tents but soon began to erect log cabins. Early in 1867, the Government decided to make Fort Russell a permanent post and erect substantial buildings. The first trip made by John Hunton into Wyoming was when he took a freight train with finishing lumber from Julesburg to be used in the construction of the fort. This was in the spring of 1867, before Cheyenne was on the map. Therefore the origin of Fort Russell antedates Cheyenne.
For more than half a century Fort Laramie was the most important historical point in the great Northwest region between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast. It was the central base of supplies and a military station on the overland trails across the plains and mountains to Oregon, California and Utah, over which the “forty-niners,” Mormons and Oregon emigrants trekked in huge trains and cavalcades. For many years it was the rendezvous of the most powerful Indian tribes of the Northwest. It was the headquarters of the most famous explorers, hunters, trappers, scouts, guides and fur traders known in western history, including such men as Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Jim Baker, Bordeau, Chatillion. La Ramie, St. Vrain. etc., and later Buffalo Bill, Frank Grouard, Big Bat and others.