Needed protection on the north - Outposts were established
One on the South Loup River near present Ravenna
Officially - Post South Loup Fork Ft. Banishment
Ft. Desolation Camp Connor after Gen. Patrick Connor, in charge of the Military
District of the Plains
June 1865 - Ft. Kearny established an
outpost on the South Loup River.
Began building in Spring 1864 – according to one account
Manned by soldiers from Co. E, 7th Iowa Cavalry stationed at Ft Kearny
October 1865 – closed
Deserted in 1866 when surveyed for future Burlington railroad
Source: Hall County History &
Andreas’ History of Buffalo County A fortification had been
established 2 miles south of present Grand Island to protect some 200 German
immigrants. Called Ft. Independence. Block
house and OK Store surrounded by earthen wall.
20 Men from Co. E, 7th Iowa Cavalry
Some took grain and cattle by force.
No way to punish them.
Area citizens glad when they were
ordered to the post on the Loup
Source: former soldier with Co. E,
7th Iowa Cav. Some men in the company had stolen
whiskey and declared mutiny.
Banished to this post for four months
to scout the Loup County for hostile Indians
One man killed in Buckeye Valley when
going to Ft. Kearny with mail.
an "emergency" post
an "outpost for disciplinary
"sort of a penal colony, and soldiers
guilty of infraction of the rules ... were detailed for duty at Fort
Desolation or Fort Banishment."
North side of river on a bend
Three sides a wall of sod
Fourth side was river.
Contained two log buildings, one for the men, on for the horses
Scenic spot, popular for swimming, school picnics and outdoor gatherings
Flood in 1947 washed away all remnants.
Only about 75’ of an elbow shaped curve in the embankment remains
Historical marker along Highway 2 tells about it.
In a school land section, currently leased & being farmed.
Artifacts – Gibbon Heritage Center - Gavel
made of wood from there Ft. Kearny – Tinned can (Civil
War version of MRE)
Bullet casing, bullet & percussion cap
Found in a hole dug 2 ˝ ft. deep, furrier’s fire
Site located 8-22-1982
Display – at Ravenna Genealogical &
Historical Society through October
Then back to Ft. Kearny
Facts & Theories: Fact - Men from Gibbon Homestead Colony came to area to get logs for
firewood and saw the deserted site.
Fact - Railroad used logs from this area of the Loup for ties when
Fact - Along the Loup in the Ravenna area is the only place oak trees
grew large enough to produce logs that size
Theory - Some think our log cabin was one of those in the enclosure
which had been disassembled and moved to a farmstead east in Hall County.
Others doubt that but do agree it was
built with logs from the area.