Camp at the Mouth of Red Canyon, sometimes called Camp Collier, was established at this site in mid-June 1876 to protect travelers over the 150 - mile Cheyenne - Black Hills stage road. It came into being after the Sioux, resentful of the white invasion of their sacred Paha Sapa, had that spring killed a number of persons traveling through the steep-walled canyon, believed to be the most practical route from Cheyenne to the newly-found Black Hills gold fields. The camp was garrisoned by Co. K, Fourth Infantry, on detached service from its headquarters post at Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, and it was commanded by Captain William S. Collier. The garrison initially included two officers, 48 enlisted men and one civilian physician, but subsequently varied from 38 to 56, excluding the women laundresses and their children. The troopers constructed a stockade 125 feet square, with bastions on the northeast and southwest corners, on the flat below the mouth of the canyon, and planted evergreens around it. The Cheyenne - Black Hills telegraph line reached the post on 30 September and Custer on 19 October 1878. There was little trouble with the Indians following establishment of the camp, but alkaline water, boredom, and desertions were major problems. The stockade was abandoned 13 June 1877 when the stage company opened a new short-cut route from Hat Creek to Jenney Stockade and Deadwood. The buildings were dismantled and all salvageable lumber and other equipment taken southwest to Camp on Sage Creek as Co. K departed for its new station at Fort D. A. Russell near Cheyenne. While other Army units had camped for brief periods within the Black Hills, Camp Collier at the Mouth of Red Canyon had the distinction of being the first military establishment of any permanence in the Hills proper, existing for approximately one year.
ERECTED 1974 BY THE SOUTH A STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN COOPERATION WITH THE FALL RIVER COUNTY HIST0RICAL SOCIETY AND THE EDGEMONT CHAMBER OF C0MMERCE
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This Map Large (If Available)
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