could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Ft. Banishment

140 years old this summer (2005) - June 1865

Indian unrest in 1864

War ended and railroads construction 1865-66

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 stationed there.
        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.

Other descriptions:
        an "emergency" post
        an "outpost for disciplinary purposes"
        "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 constructing UP

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.


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Revised: 05/03/2018