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Fort Wallace

the westernmost frontier post in Kansas

The approximate location of Fort Wallace.
location of Fort Wallace

Camp Pond Creek, so called from its location at the junction of Pond Creek and the south fork of the Smoky Hill River, was established in September 1865 as one of several western Kansas posts charged with protecting settlers and travelers from Indians. On April 16, 1866, the name was changed to Fort Wallace, in honor of Brigadier General William H. L. Wallace, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee) on April 10, 1862.

At its height Fort Wallace could house and support 500 men, but for much of its history the total number of troops stationed at Fort Wallace averaged just 75.During the building of the railroad Fort Wallace was an important post. The railroad was completed to the fort in July 1868, and during the following year several skirmishes with the Indians occurred in the vicinity.

Fort Wallace was officially decommissioned on May 31, 1882, although a detachment of soldiers did remain for a time at the fort in order to prevent settlers from using the Fort grounds. By an act of Congress, approved on October 19, 1888, the reservation was ordered to be sold, except the right of way of the Union Pacific Railroad and the post cemetery, which was given to the city of Wallace. By then, however, settlers had literally dismantled every single structure and used their materials for their own homes, barns, etc. All that remains of the fort today are its cemetery, which is located southeast of the city of Wallace.

Fort Wallace as it looked just after it was abandoned.
Fort Wallace

Official Website

Fort Wallace Memorial Association

See Also

Smoky Hill River

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The Robinson Library >> Kansas >> History

This page was last updated on November 17, 2018.