Fort Harney (1)
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Fort Harney (1867-1880) - Established by Company K of the 23rd U.S. Infantry, on 16 August 1867 on the west bank of the Rattlesnake River, near the present town of Burns, Harney County, Oregon. It was first called Camp Steele, then changed to Camp Harney and then to Fort Harney on 14 Sep 1867. The fort was named after Brig. Gen. William S. Harney. Also known as Camp Crook.
History of Fort Harney
In 1874 the fort was garrisoned by companies of the 21st U.S. Infantry and Troop K, 1st U.S. Cavalry. By 1877 the fort consisted of a headquarters; a commanding officers' quarters; five officers' quarters buildings; three log soldiers' barracks; kitchens; mess halls; four log houses for married enlisted men; a parade ground running north-south and other support structures.
Camp Steele was expanded in 1867 after a group of Chinese miners were ambushed by Indians en route to Silver City, Idaho.
When the Bannock and Paiute tribes surrendered at the end of the Bannock Indian War in 1878, all Indians were then rounded up and held at Fort Harney, regardless of which side they were on. In January 1879, over 500 Paiutes were loaded into wagons or ordered to walk to Fort Simcoe on the Yakima Reservation and to Fort Vancouver in Washington state. In knee-deep snow the men were forced to march, shackled two by two, while the women and children were later taken to Fort Boise.
The fort was abandoned 24 Jun 1880 and nothing remains at the old fort site other than the fort cemetery.
Location: On privately owned land approximated fifteen miles northeast of Burns, Harney County, Oregon.
Maps & Images
Lat: 43.6675 Long: -118.80778
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 134
- McArthur, Lewis A. & McArthur, Lewis L., Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press; 7 edition (December 2003), 1073 pages, ISBN 0875952771, ISBN 978-0875952772, page 367
- Oregon Military History, Forts-Camps-Roads
- 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 665
- Billings, John Shaw, Circular 4, Barracks and Hospitals with Descriptions of Military Posts 1870, War Department, Surgeon General's Office, 5 Dec 1870, Washington DC, Google Books, page 436
Visited: 10 Oct 2009
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