DEPARTMENT OF THE PLATTE

From:
ONE HUNDRED YEARS WITH THE SECOND CAVALRY
By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
Capper Printing Company, Inc.

IWHardly had the troops finished building the cantonments in Kansas when they were ordered by General Sherman to change station to the Department of the Platte. This area was commanded by the former colonel of the regiment, General Philip St. George Cook, with station at Fort Omaha, Nebraska.

Upon their arrival, the troops were distributed as follows:

Regt. Hq., Band, Cos. D, F, H, I, K, L – Fort Laramie, Wyoming.
Cos. A, B – Fort McPherson, Nebraska.
Co. C – Fort Phil Kearney, Wyoming.
Co. E – Fort Casper, Wyoming.
Co. G – Fort Sanders, Wyoming.
Co. M – Fort Sedgwick, Colorado.

At these posts the troops began the same routine of construction and labor as they had experienced in Kansas during the past year. Forts McPherson, Sedgwick, Sanders, and Phil Kearney were incomplete, the accommodations being of a most temporary character. Fort Laramie, one of the oldest posts in the West, was more up to date, but had insufficient space for the number of troops stationed there.

The Second Cavalry was now located in strategical points between the plains and the Rockies. Fort Laramie was at the junction of the Laramie and North Platte Rivers. It was also at the junction of the Oregon and Bozeman Trails, and commanded the exit of the South Pass. Fort McPherson was at the junction of the South Platte and North Platte Rivers. Fort Sedgwick, near the town of Julesburg, was at the meeting of the Bozeman and Overland Trails. Forts Sanders, Sedgwick, and McPherson were on the projected route of the transcontinental railroad. Fort Casper was on the North Platte River and the Oregon Trail, while Fort Phil Kearney was on the Bozeman Trail.

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