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.
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About the Author
Johanna Wickman holds AA degrees in German and museum and gallery studies, a BA in humanities and fine arts and a master's in history. Formerly a museum director in the Palm Springs area and a planning committee member for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Platte Bridge, she was elected to the board of the Fort Caspar Museum Association in October 2015. Wickman is currently the president of two companies working with museums: Wickman Historical Consultants and Creative Museum Solutions.
Table of Contents
Foreword Douglas R. Cubbison 7
1 Post at Platte Bridge 17
2 Construction of Platte Bridge Station, Camp Dodge and Escalation of Violence 39
3 Battles of Platte Bridge Station and Red Buttes 69
About the Author 109
About the Foreword Author 111