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FORT LARAMIE--FORT ROBINSON TRAIL

Near here are ruts left by the famed 1874 Sioux Expedition, a U.S. military force sent to establish
Camps Sheridan and Robinson. The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie had guaranteed food and
supplies to the Sioux and other tribes in exchange for lands ceded to the United States. To
distribute annuity goods, Red Cloud Agency was established on the North Platte River below
Fort Laramie. In 1873 the agency was relocated to the White River Valley near present-day
Crawford.

Misunderstandings between Indian leaders and agents hampered the distribution of supplies
during the winter of 1873-74. In three separate incidents in February, hostile bands of Sioux
killed freighter Edward Gray, Red Cloud agent Frank Appleton, and two soldiers from Fort
Laramie, including Lieutenant Levi Robinson. General Philip Sheridan responded by organizing
the Sioux Expedition.

In early March nearly one thousand troops followed an old fur-trade route from Fort Laramie to
the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies. The establishment of Camps Robinson and Sheridan
maintained an uneasy peace until the outbreak of the Sioux War two years later. Camp Robinson
was renamed Fort Robinson in 1878 and the improved Fort Laramie--Fort Robinson Trail helped
supply this outpost on the plains.

Citizens of Sioux County
Nebraska State Historical Society
State Hwy. 29, south of Harrison, 13 miles
Sioux County
Marker 158

 


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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