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Nebraska Forts - Page 3

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Fort Omaha, NebraskaFort Omaha (1863-Present) - The Post of Omaha came into being in 1863 to train Civil War Volunteers. Three years later it became headquarters of the Department of the Platte. In 1868, a new post was activated four miles northwest of the city. Known as Sherman Barracks the first year and then as Omaha Barracks, in 1878 it was re-designated as Fort Omaha.


From 1875 to 1882 and from 1886 to 1888, as commander of the Department of the Platte, Brigadier General George Crook was stationed at the post when he was not in the field. He directed many major campaigns on the northern Plains, serving in which were numerous troops that had passed through Fort Omaha.


The Fort Omaha garrison moved in 1896 to Fort Crook, which had been activated 5 years earlier about 10 miles south of Omaha as the New Post of Fort Omaha. The first soldiers had arrived there in 1895.


In 1905 the Army reactivated Fort Omaha, and during World War I used it for a balloon school. The Navy had jurisdiction over the base beginning in 1947.  The property was obtained through a quitclaim deed from the Federal Government by Metropolitan Community College in 1975, although facilities for military reserve forces are still there at the perimeter of the fort.


Seven buildings from the 1870's and 1880's have survived. One of the oldest is the commanding officer's house, or Crook House, completed in 1879. Its first tenant was General Crook, and it is the only building on site that you can still tour.  A large two-story brick structure, asymmetrical in plan, Italianate in style, and crowned by hipped roofs, it is in good condition. A long one-story porch projects from its eastern facade. The interior has been altered over the years, but the exterior has changed little. The fort is located in northern Omaha at 30th and Fort Streets. (Updated April 2016)


Fort Robidoux (1822-1840s) - Established by the American Fur Company, the post was named for fur trapper Joseph Robidoux. Shortly after it was established, it was also known as French Company and Cabanne's Trading Post, for its operator, John Pierre Cabanne. Cabanne continued to operate the post until 1833 when  Joshua Pilcher assumed command of the post until it was abandoned in the early 1840s. Its success was in part due to its ability to supply provisions to nearby Fort Atkinson. Shortly after 1840 operations moved to Fontenelle's Post in the Bellevue, Nebraska area and placed under the management of Peter A. Sarpy. Though nothing is left of the fort today, the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located 10 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska, on the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway near Florence, north of Dodge Park.


Fort Robinson - See full article HERE!


Fort Sidney (1867-1894) - First called Sidney Barracks, the post was established in 1867 with a primary function of protecting the Union Pacific Railroad workers against the threat of hostile Indians. In 1869 the post was relocated to the present site at Sidney, Nebraska, and the following year it was renamed Fort Sidney. In the mid 1870's the post became a major strategic point as the initial supply depot on the Sidney-Blackhills Trail. Throughout the mid 1870's, supplies and passengers traveled the trail to the Red Cloud Indian Agency and beyond to the Black Hills gold fields. By 1875 the fort contained quarters for three companies, five officers quarters, a hospital, guard house, bakery, laundry, stables, and other structures. In 1878 troops from Fort Sidney were called in to participate in the search for Dull Knife's Cheyennes who had escaped from their reservation in Oklahoma, and who were later recaptured near Fort Robinson, Nebraska. With the Indians subdued, Fort Sidney was closed in 1894 and most of the buildings were sold.




Fort Sidney, NebraskaToday, the Fort Sidney Complex includes the Post Commanders Home built in 1871, a Double-Set of Married Officers Quarters, which now houses the Cheyenne County Museum, built in 1884, and the 1872 Powder House, all located now in a residential area of the town. To the southeast are the remains of the fort's rifle range. The restored buildings have been refurnished with authentic articles of the late 1800s and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is located at 6th and Jackson Streets in Sidney, Nebraska.



Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March, 2017.

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