National Register of Historic Places


Fort Halleck

Carbon County

Date Added to Register

Tuesday, April 28, 1970

Smithsonian Number

48CR428

Read all about it

Fort Halleck represents the single and strategic military establishment located along the transcontinental thoroughfare historically known as the Overland Trail. The building of the Fort was prompted by the hostile Indian warfare existing on the Plains during the early 1860s and its primary purpose was to aid in keeping the line of transportation open between the East and the West. Fort Halleck was established at the base of Elk Mountain on the northern extremity of the Medicine Bow range. The Fort went into operation on July 20, 1862. Soldiers of Company A of the 11th Ohio Cavalry constructed the post and named it in honor of Major General Henry W. Halleck of Civil War fame. Contemporary observers described Fort Halleck as consisting of a collection of log structures, huts and dugouts flanking a small parade ground. Native materials from the nearby mountains were used in the post's construction and some of the structures were made by placing logs upright in the ground close together and then adding a sod roof. The majority, however, were the conventional low profile log cabin style. There is no evidence that the Fort ever had a stockade surrounding it.

The year of 1865 marked the high point of Indian disturbances along the Overland Trail. With the end of the Civil War and the increased migration to the Montana gold fields the scene shifted to the Bozeman Trail. The establishment of three new protective forts along this route diverted the hostile Indians attention northward. Fort Halleck was officially abandoned by the military on July 4, 1866. Captain Henry R. Mizner, Commanding Officer, dismantled the Fort and removed the usable materials and supplies to Fort Buford (later Sanders), a newly located post on the Laramie Plains established in anticipation of the forthcoming construction of a transcontinental railroad. The four year period in which Fort Halleck was in existence represented a critical time in American history. Although short-lived, the Fort filled a vital need in serving the interests of the United States government when maintaining contact with the Western states became an important consideration in the nation's survival.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources