Lost Forts of Casper
Three army outposts built before and during the Civil War protected critical routes along the western trails at the North Platte River near what later became Casper. All had been abandoned by 1867, and their dramatic stories are mostly forgotten. The Post at Platte Bridge was a vital outpost on Albert Sidney Johnston s Utah War supply route. Camp Dodge and Platte Bridge Station, also called Fort Caspar, guarded telegraph lines from Native American sabotage. Violent winds, horrendous blizzards and scorching summers made life miserable. Tension reached a fever pitch at the Battle of Platte Bridge when Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho attacked a cavalry detachment led by Caspar Collins. Today, a reconstructed Fort Caspar stands as a vigilant reminder of the struggles at those lonely frontier stations. Local historian Johanna Wickman chronicles military efforts to keep the peace, wage war and merely survive."