Fort Sanders (1)
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Fort Sanders (1) (1866-1882) - Established as Fort John Buford by Major James S. Brisbin 10 Jul 1866 for Major General John Buford (Cullum 1384). Renamed Fort Sanders 5 Sep 1866 for Brigadier General William P. Sanders (Cullum 1751). Abandoned 22 May 1882 and transferred to the Interior Department 22 Aug 1882. Not infrequently called "Fort Saunders", but wrongly.
Fort Sanders (1) History
This post was originally built to protect the Overland Stage Route, the Cherokee and Lodgepole Creek emigrant trails as well as military supply routes but the most important mission was to escort and protect the crews surveying and constructing the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad arrived at nearby Laramie in May 1868. The troops at the fort were involved in 20 major engagements over the years.
Fort Sanders was originally built as a four company post with both infantry and cavalry units. Materials to build the barracks, officers quarters and kitchens were obtained from the closed posts, Fort Halleck (1) and Fort Collins. Buildings were constructed of logs according to standard U.S. Army plans except for the guardhouse and the magazine which were built of local stone. The stable was 223 foot long and held ninety horses. The post had a 600' by 500' parade ground. The post was later expanded to house six companies.
With the end of Indian hostilities in the 1870s, the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad and the resulting decline in emigrant traffic, the need for the fort ended and post was abandoned in May 1882.
The ruins of the Fort Sanders Guardhouse and the ruins of the Powder Magazine are the only structures remaining. U.S. Route 287 bisects the old post and the remains of the Powder magazine can be seen from the road marker to the Northeast. The guardhouse ruins are west of the road marker on the west side of U.S. 287 but not visible from the marker. Access to the guardhouse is from Fort Sanders Road to Kiowa Road, Fort Sanders Road parallels U.S. 287.
Location: The road marker is on on U.S. 287 two miles south of exit 313 on I-80 at Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.
Maps & Images
Lat: 41.27111 Long: -105.59806
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 203 - 204
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 185
- 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 162
- Barnes, Jeff, Forts of the Northern Plains - Guide to Historic Military Posts of the Plains Indian Wars, Copyright 2008, Stackpole Books, ISBN-13: 978-0-8117-3496-7, ISBN-10: 0-8117-3496-X, page 207-211
Visited: 6 Jun 2010
Fort Sanders (1) Picture Gallery
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