Fort CF Smith Part 3 Abandonment
Tension and Monotony
Constantly harassed by Red Cloud’s warriors, life at Fort C.F. Smith was a combination of tension and monotony. The military post was 300 hostile miles from the nearest settlement. Loneliness, disease, and mental breakdowns were the lot of the military and civilians who manned this remote outpost.
Peace Commission And Abandonment
Fort C.F. Smith was the first of the three forts to be abandoned. The Crow people, who had come to depend on the military post for safety and trade goods, gathered to bid these men goodbye. On July 29, 1868, with no martial band to thrill the heart, the members of the U.S. Army and their dependents, who had participated in the short life of Fort C.F. Smith, turned south on the trail home. The soldiers and civilians reached Fort Phil Kearney on August 2nd. Within thirty-six hours the combined forces abandoned it as well. Fort Smith was burned by the Sioux soon after it was abandoned
For the first time, the United States had failed to force its will on the Indians and make them accept its terms. Today, all that remains of Fort C.F. Smith is a marker that can be seen from the road. The site of Fort C.F. Smith is located on private property.
Did You Know?
Fort C.F. Smith, was the most isolated of the posts which guarded the Bozeman Trail. Active from August 1866 to July 1868, it was under constant threat from the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne tribes during Red Cloud’s War. The U.S. government was forced to abandon the fort and trail. Some historians have called this conflict, “the first war the United States ever lost.” More...