Fort Sedgwick,originally called Camp Rankin, was located opposite the mouth of Lodgepole Creek about a mile upriver from Julesburg. Named after Major John Sedgwick, called by some a coward, by others a hero, it was established in the summer of 1864. Major Sedgwick later became a Union General and was killed at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House during the Civil War. When Julesburg was raided by Indians in February, 1865, it's few citizens fled to Fort Sedgwick and watched as their town burned to the ground. The small military force at Fort Sedgwick was unable to prevent the Sioux and Cheyenne from burning Julesburg and killing eighteen defenders in revenge for the Sand Creek Massacre the previous November. Julesburg was rebuilt on a new site, and the military post was enlarged and then renamed Fort Sedgwick. The meadows around Fort Sedgwick were favorite emigrant campgrounds.
The 7th Iowa Cavalry protected the Overland Trail along this stretch of the route from the Indians, and wagons going to Denver often had to stay at Fort Sedgwick until the army officers were convinced that the wagons were sufficiently able to withstand attack.
Until May 1871 when it was officially abandoned by the US Army, Fort Sedgwick served as a focal point for military activities in the region, and, during the construction of the Union Pacific RR across western Nebraska in 1867, troops from the post protected the construction workers from the continual threat of Indian attack. The flagpole from Fort Sedgwick was moved to Julesburg and is now in front of the Julesburg library.
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