Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site Article

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Fort Steele
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site is located in Wyoming
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site is located in the United States
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site
LocationNorth Platte River at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing
Nearest city Sinclair, Wyoming
Coordinates 41°46′42″N 106°56′51″W / 41.77833°N 106.94750°W / 41.77833; -106.94750

41°46′42″N 106°56′51″W / 41.77833°N 106.94750°W / 41.77833; -106.94750
Area40 acres (16 ha)
Built1868 (1868)
NRHP reference # 69000185 [1]
Added to NRHPApril 16, 1969

Fort Steele, also known as Fort Fred Steele, was established to protect the newly built Union Pacific Railroad from attacks by Native Americans during construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. The fort was built in 1868 where the railroad crossed the North Platte River in Carbon County, Wyoming. Work on the fort was carried out by military and civilian labor. Fort Steele was one of three forts built on the line. Fort Sanders (originally Fort John Buford) near Laramie and Fort D.A. Russell at Cheyenne were the other railroad forts. Fort Steele was named for the recently deceased General Frederick Steele. [2]


Immediately after the fort's establishment in the summer of 1868 it was the scene of a meeting that included Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, who had come west to inspect the railroad, accompanied by Generals Philip Sheridan, August Kautz, Joseph H. Potter, William S. Harney, Frederick T. Dent and Adam J. Slemmer, with Union Pacific officials Thomas C. Durant and Sidney Dillon. The fort provided both military protection and law enforcement for the region. Troops from the fort also dealt with labor disputes in Wyoming and as far away as Chicago. The most notable incident occurred in 1878 during the White River War, when the fort sent a contingent that was ambushed with heavy losses in the Battle of Milk Creek. Casualties included the fort's commander, Major Thomas Thornburgh. [2] [3]

The fort was abandoned in 1886. The fort's structures have suffered from repeated fires. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 16, 1969. [1] [3] It is now managed as Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site by the state of Wyoming. [4]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b Barnhart, Bill (February 26, 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Fort Steele". National Park Service. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Fraser, Clayton B. (1977). "Fort Fred Steele, Carbon, WY". Historic American Buildings Survey. Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Fort Fred Steele Historic Site". Wyoming State Parks. Retrieved 29 August 2013.

External links