Fort Robinson Post Headquarters

Fort Robinson – Cavalry Post & Remount Depot

Fort Robinson  Post Headquarters
Fort Robinson Post Headquarters
 

FORT ROBINSON -

GATEWAY TO THE WEST

It was in 1847 as America continued to push west.  The US Army established Posts on the frontier and Fort Robinson, Nebraska was one.  This post would have a very interesting life over the next several decades as a home for the US Cavalry including the famed Buffalo Soldiers. It then would become in the 20th century the largest of all the remount depots of the US Army's Remount Service. The thousands of acres - about  22,000 began as Camp Robinson named after Lieutenant Levi  Robinson. He was killed in February 1874 by a band of Indians who attacked the lieutenant and a Corporal   while they were on a side trip hunting game. The US Army Post later became the largest remount depot for the US Army Remount Service after the depot at Fort Keogh was closed
Field Artillery on Fort Myer

When the US Army Moved by Horse

Field Artillery on Fort MyerA hundred years ago, the US Army moved by horse - The Cavalry were mounted; the field artillery hauled their guns drawn by limbers hitched up to a team of  six horses and wagons were pulled by mules.  The horse power need was great, so in the early 1900s, the War Department petitioned Congress and as a result the Remount Service was started finally.  In addition to horses, the US Army also needed mules and during WW II the need for dogs also increased. In doing the research for the book  "Images of America - Fort Myer"  the US Army's Remount Service surfaced ...  initially it consisted of three depots: Smaller sub-depots were established to receive the horses to re-supply major cavalry posts.  There was one of these depots for Fort Myer just outside downtown  Alexandria City, Virginia. By the end of World War I, the need had grown so great that there were 39 remount depots across the United States, many at existing US Army Camps and Posts.  Additionally, the US Army also took over 35 remount stations in France during the war.  Domestically, the depot at Fort Robinson, Nebraska would ultimately be the largest and one of the last depots in use. 
Blackjack - Caparisoned Horse - Riderless Horse
Blackjack with Cap Walker
 It would be from remount depot - Fort Reno, Oklahoma that the famous caparisoned horse, Black Jack (named for General of the Armies, John J. "Blackjack" Pershing) was the last Quartermaster issued horse that was branded by the US Army - the brand "US" on his left shoulder and serial number "2V56" on the left side of his neck. With the anticipation of being drawn into World War II,  a decision was made by Chief of Staff of the Army,  General George C. Marshall to mechanize the US Army.  Thus horses were of little use as the army went from four hooves to four tires or even two tracks.  The remaining depots were turned over to the US Department of Agriculture on July 01 1948.  They were either turned into other uses, abandoned or as in the case of the depot at Front Royal, VA, the Smithsonian Institution acquired the main parcel of land, with the remainder in use to train dogs by the US Customs Service  and the other portion by the 4H clubs of America. Based on the strict requirements of the US Army for its horses, the horse industry within the United States benefited greatly.   When the US Army's Remount Service was dissolved,  many of the horses were auctioned off and became breeding stock across America.  Another example of how the US Army has contributed immensely to the United States.