There is no photograph of Lt. Bell available.
First Lieutenant David Bell, Company K, 1st US Cavalry, had his work cut out for him when Captain George Steuart transferred the commanding officers duties to him. On November 21, 1859, Capt. Steuart received orders from Department Headquarters, Fort Leavenworth, to return to Fort Riley and leave 30 men at the Camp on Pawnee Fork under the command of Lieutenant Bell. Five days later, Steuart transferred command to Lieutenant Bell, who went about the Herculean task of establishing a permanent military outpost in hostile territory. According to a remark in the Record of Events for November 1859:
In addition to establishing a fort and beginning construction,
Lieutenant Bell was born either February or March 1827 in
When Lieutenant Bell assumed command of the young post, he found his small force of 30 men inadequate to accomplish all their tasks. He quickly requested reinforcement and was sent 1st Lieutenant John D. O'Connell and 20 men of the 2nd US Infantry, who arrived December 22, 1859. This was still not enough manpower to protect every mail coach. The small garrison survived the winter and on February 12, 1860, Lt. Bell received orders written February 1, changing the name of the post from Camp on Pawnee Fork to
On May 4, 1860, Captain Henry W. Wessells, Company C, 2nd US Infantry, arrived with two companies of the 2nd US Infantry, increasing the military force at
Last updated: May 22, 2019