Fort Wallace


Fort Wallace was first called Camp Pond Creek and was established in September, 1865, about one-and-a-half miles southwest of present Wallace. The soldiers were moved about a year later to a site further west along the Smoky River, where the fort was built.

It was the westernmost outpost of four posts (Riley), Harker, Hays and Wallace between the Missouri River and Denver, a distance of about 700 miles. Fort Wallace was named in honor of General W.H.L. Wallace of the Union Army, who lost his life at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, in 1862.

All that remains of the original fort now is the old post cemetery, enclosed by stone walls within the Wallace Township cemetery. By 1882, the activities of the area seemed settled and well under control and it was the decision of the U.S. Government to discontinue the services of Ft. Wallace and to abandon the site, leaving only a caretaker to oversee the property.

In December of 1885, the U.S. Government extricated the bodies of 88 soldiers with headstones marked between 1867-1879, and moved them to Ft. Leavenworth. Still, more than 100 graves were left, including U. S. Scouts who were not members of the conventional army.

Some of the more acclaimed men that served at Ft. Wallace at one time or another were: Gen. George A. Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and Bill Comstock.

In the Spring of 1886, a terrible storm ripped through the area. Due to the scarcity of building material in the region many of the settlers then began using the remains of the fort to accommodate the needs for repairing their properties. This was allowed to happen because it was much easier and cheaper to allow the structures to be removed than to try and preserve it.rn


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