Published on March 5, 2013 by Carol
Beginning in 1862, troops were stationed at Platte Bridge Station, later Fort Caspar, for the purpose of protecting the emigrants and guarding the telegraph lines. On July 26, 1865, a supply train led by Sgt. Amos Custard was bringing three supply wagons from Sweetwater Station near Independence Rock. Around noon on that day, as the troops neared Platte Bridge Station in the vicinity of Red Buttes, they were attacked by a large group of Indians. Following a four hour battle, the troops were overrun and Sgt. Custard, along with twenty-one of his men, were killed. Three soldiers survived and made it to Platte Bridge Station. That same morning, a troop of twenty men under the command of Lt. Caspar Collins had gone out to assist the supply train in returning to Platte Bridge Station. A mile west of the post, the group was ambushed by a large contingent of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians. As the troops retreated, the Indians killed four men, including Lt. Collins. As a tribute to his memory, the Army renamed the post Fort Caspar. It was not named Fort Collins because a post in Colorado had recently been named that in honor of the young lieutenant’s father, Col. W. O. Collins.
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