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Fort Douglas (1862-1991) - Established as Camp Douglas by Colonel Patrick E. Connor, 3rd U.S. Infantry, commanding California Volunteers and Nevada Volunteers on 26 Oct 1862 during the U.S. Civil War. Named for Illinois Senator Stephen Arnold Douglas. Rebuilt and renamed Fort Douglas 1878. Designated as a permanent post in 1901 and officially closed in 1991.
Fort Douglas History
Originally established during the U.S. Civil War to protect the mail routes from hostile Indians and as a show of strength to the Mormon people who some thought to be disloyal to the Union cause. Col. Connor and over 1500 men made the journey from California in 100 days, arriving on 21 Oct 1862 in Salt Lake City. The command continued on three miles east of the city and established Camp Douglas.
Initial construction consisted of 32 four foot deep pits over which tents were placed. Each tent housed 12 men. The hospital, quartermaster building, bake house, officer's quarters and guardhouse were constructed of wood and adobe before the first winter. By 1876 the Camp had been rebuilt with more substantial stone buildings under the direction of General John E. Smith and on 30 Dec 1878 Camp Douglas was designated as Fort Douglas.
Fort Douglas served as a training camp and as a prisoner of war camp for captured Germans during World War I and World War II.
Starting in 1979 when the U.S. Army declared the Fort surplus to its needs, portions of the 9,000 acre reservation were transferred to the University of Utah. The central part of the Fort and its cemetery were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1975. In 1991 the Fort was officially closed although the National Guard, Reserves and the Fort Douglas Military Museum continue to use a small part of the reservation.
Location: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah
Maps & Images
Lat: 40.765294 Long: -111.83305
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 166
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 787-788
Visited: 15 Oct 2009
Fort Douglas Picture Gallery
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