Fort Taylor (WA)

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Fort Taylor, in Washington Territory was a temporary Army post established early in August 1858, by Captain E. D. Keyes with a detachment of dragoons, during the Spokane – Coeur d'Alene – Paloos War. The fort was located on the south bank of the Snake River at the mouth of the Tucannon River. It was built of basalt rock with a hexagonal wood blockhouse, and included a ferry, consiting of a large flatboat. Fort Taylor was established to cover the Snake River crossing point for the Army at the mouth of Tucannon River near the Palouse River. This fort was only used for six weeks in 1858 by Colonel George Wright as his Snake River crossing point for his force on August 18, 1858. After a few days he finished crossing and it then served as a supply depot for his campaign against the allied tribes to the north that ended with the Battle of Four Lakes. On October 1, 1858, Fort Taylor was abandoned, no further need of troops there were required. Fort Taylor was named for Captain Oliver Hazard Perry Taylor, killed earlier in 1858, while he served with Colonel Edward Steptoe against the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, Palouse, Cayuse, and Yakimas in the Battle of Pine Creek. The site of Fort Taylor is now underwater in Lake Herbert G. West, beyond the mouth of the Tuccanon River, over 2 miles nortwest of the town of Starbuck, Washington, east of State Hwy 261.

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