Ft. Ranald Mackenzie, Sheridan Wyoming

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Pat Holscher
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I was in Sheridan yesterday and had a little time, so I went up to the Veteran's Administration Hospital to take some photographs of Ft. Ranald Makenzie. The hospital is on the fort's old grounds, and for the most part uses the fort's old buildings. I'd never been there before, and I was surprised by how well preserved the old fort is.

Sheridan was a Remount center up through World War Two, and I had thought that Ft. Mackenzie was used as the remount station, but I can't find anything on that, so I may very well have been in error. What really surprises me about the old post is that it was built in 1899, far later than I would have thought there would have been a need for a fort in this area of Wyoming, and it was converted into a hospital in 1918. It had basically been closed in 1913, so its conversion no doubt made use of fairly new buildings at the time (and probably showed that there really was no need for a fort in northern Wyoming in 1899.

The post did see G and H of the Tenth Cavalry stationed here after their return from the Philippines in 1902.

A note on these photographs, this is a small post, but I didn't have much time, and as these buildings are being used, I felt a bit odd about parking my truck and photographing all of them. So a lot of these photographs were taken from inside of my truck.

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Pat

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Trooper
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Thanks Pat,
it looks a well cared for post.
Dušan
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Pat Holscher
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Trooper wrote:Thanks Pat,
it looks a well cared for post.
It is a very attractive location and very well preserved. Some of the old houses are used as private on grounds residences. A few buildings are new, but many are the original buildings. Perhaps somewhat unusually, given that such concerns have only arisen recently, the newer buildings all generally match the older ones in terms of architectural style.

I'm still a bit baffled by this post. I found an entry on it for a Wiki on forts, which appears here:

http://fortwiki.com/Fort_Mackenzie

This entry reports that the post was "Established at the request of Wyoming Senator Francis E. Warren because of the large number of Indians (23,000) in the area around Sheridan, Wyoming." but I really have my doubts about that. Perhaps that was the excuse, but that number is completely erroneous as it would be far too large of number of Indians for the time. The nearest reservation, moreover, would have been the Crow Reservation in southern Montana which was the home of a population that had always been friendly to the United States.

The other thing that baffles me is where would the remount personnel who were in the area up through World War Two have been? I had thought on this post, but perhaps not.
Pat

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Pat Holscher
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I got to considering this, and I wonder if base closures and politics doesn't explain this.

Ft. Laramie closed in 1890. Ft. Fred Steele closed in 1886. Ft. McKinney, which had been just 50 miles away near Buffalo Wyoming, closed in 1894. After all those base closures, opening a new base up in Wyoming was probably viewed as a good political move by F. E. Warren, who managed to secure the construction of this post.

And this post was certainly much more modern than the ones that were closed in the 1890s. It's interesting to note that Ft. Washakie remained open, but would close in 1909. It also featured some more modern structures.
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Nice pictures. There is something funny and refreshing in the way VA Medical centers all bare a resemblance to each other. I was at the one in Martinsburg, WV today and the older sections are a lot like these pictures.

Jim
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Jim Bewley wrote:Nice pictures. There is something funny and refreshing in the way VA Medical centers all bare a resemblance to each other. I was at the one in Martinsburg, WV today and the older sections are a lot like these pictures.

Jim
I have to say that it was a lot nicer, at least in exterior, than I expected. The whole place was very "old Army" (with sections dedicated to all the services including the Coast Guard) and very well kept.

It must have been a nice post from 99 to 13 when soldiers were stationed there. Hard to imagine now. Very nice country, except perhaps in winter. Very horsey area. Nice location. The roughness of Frontier posts had passed, and the horror of WWI and WWII had not arrived.
Pat

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