Fort Robinson State Park, Nebraska

Fort Robinson was established in 1874 to guard the Red Cloud Agency, where Sioux Indians under the leadership of Chief Red Cloud had settled under treaty with the U.S. government. The fort was the site of several dramatic incidents in the last years of the Plains Indians wars. In May 1877, Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse and 900 followers surrendered at Fort Robinson, and settled on the reservation. Just a few months later, Crazy Horse was arrested and brought into the fort, where he was stabbed in a scuffle and died several hours later. In 1879, Cheyenne chief Dull Knife and his tribe left their reservation in the Indian Territory and sought to take refuge with Red Cloud on his reservation. They were intercepted by troops from Fort Robinson and detained there. After several days, the Indians broke out with the use of weapons they had hidden, and 64 of the 149 Indians who fled the fort were killed in fighting over the next two weeks. (This incident is depicted in John Ford’s great film, “Cheyenne Autumn.”) The fort was in operation until 1948. Fort Robinson State Park now includes a museum housed in the fort’s former headquarters, with displays of both Indian and U.S. army artifacts. Other fort buildings have been restored and furnished with period pieces, including the adobe officers’ quarters, the guardhouse, blacksmith shop, and adjutant’s office (where Crazy Horse died).

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Links: Fort Robinson State Park

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