Fort Phil Kearny

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Fort Phil Kearny (1866-1868) - Established as Fort Carrington by Colonel Henry B. Carrington of the 18th U.S. Infantry in Jul 1866. Renamed for popular Union General, Philip Kearny, finally abandoned 31 Jul 1868.

Fort Kearny, circa 1867
Fort Phil Kearny
Fort Kearny Stockade Replica

History of Fort Phil Kearny

Built to protect emigrants traveling the Bozeman Trail north to the gold fields of Montana, and also to prevent intertribal warfare between Native American tribes.

Fort Phil Kearny was the largest of three forts constructed along the Bozeman Trail. The stockade enclosing the fort was 8' high, 1,496' long, 600' wide on the North end and 240' wide on the South end.

Chief Red Cloud redoubled his efforts in the spring of 1867 against the three northern forts and travel on the Bozeman Trail was all but cut off. For over a year the southern forts had scarcely any communication from Fort C.F. Smith (1) except from one band of Crows that reported all was well.

As a result of the military reversals and increasing pressure from the Indians under Red Cloud the U.S. Government capitulated and negotiated the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which resulted in the abandonment of the three northern forts (Fort Reno (2), Fort Phil Kearny, and Fort C.F. Smith (1)) and the cessation of travel on the Bozeman Trail. The Sioux Indians destroyed the three forts immediately after the troops had left the country.

Current Status

Fort Phil Kearny Site Marker

In 1963 the fort was designated a National Historic Landmark and today portions of the fort site and the Fetterman and Wagon Box battlefields are included within the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site boundaries. There is a partial restoration of the front of the stockade and one "bastion".

Location: 2 miles from Exit 44 of U.S. Hwy. I-90, between Sheridan & Buffalo, Johnson County, Wyoming.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.532225 Long: -106.826205

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 4700'



Visited: 31 May 2010

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