ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nebraska Historic Sites: Fort Robinson

Updated on June 24, 2011

Fort Robinson is one of the crown jewels of the Nebraska State Park system. Located on 22,000 in the beautiful Pine Ridge area of northwestern Nebraska, the Fort also offers some of the most fascinating history of any place in the state.

History of Fort Robinson

In 1873, the Red Cloud Agency, home to roughly 13,000 Lakotas, was moved from the North Platte River to the White River, near what is now Crawford, Nebraska. In 1878, the agency and its accompanying military encampment were moved once again, 1.5 miles west to its current location. The new fort was named Fort Robinson and it became one of the most important sites in the later Indian Wars.

Buffalo Bill Cody killed his first Indian - a scene he would later re-enact hundreds of times in his famous Wild West Show - at the Battle of Warbonnet Creek near Fort Robinson in 1876.

In 1877, the famed Lakota leader Crazy Horse surrendered at Fort Robinson, and was killed there later that year during a botched attempt to arrest him.

The Words of Morning Star

All we ask is to be allowed to live, and live in peace... We bowed to the will of the Great Father and went south. There we found a Cheyenne cannot live. So we came home. Better it was, we thought, to die fighting than to perish of sickness... You may kill me here; but you cannot make me go back.

In one of the Fort's saddest chapters, the Cheyenne chief Morning Star (also known as Dull Knife, his Lakota name) and his band of about 300 men, women, and children were held there without food, water or heat during the winter of 1878-1879, after escaping from poor conditions on their Oklahoma reservation and fleeing 600 miles north towards their ancestral homeland. The tribe attempted once more to escape, but was massacred by federal troops in January 1879. Morning Star was among the survivors. His son, George Dull Knife also survived, and later survived the massacre at Wounded Knee as well.

The Dull Knife Massacre was the last major incident in the Indian Wars in Nebraska and after the arrival of the Buffalo Soldiers (one of the nation's first African-American regiments) in 1885, Fort Robinson was used primarily as a military fort, rather than an Indian Agency. In World War I, it was the world's largest Quartermaster Remount Depot, and in World War II it was used as a K-9 training center and a POW camp for German prisoners of war.

In 1948 it was retired from use as a military fort and given to the US Department of Agriculture to be used as a beef research station, but in 1955, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission acquired part of the fort and turned it into a state park, which it remains today. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

The German POW Camp at Fort Robinson
The German POW Camp at Fort Robinson

Park Facilities

The park is located on 22,000 acres of beautiful Pine Ridge scenery and offers lodging in the 1909 enlisted men's quarters, in cabins, or in the campgrounds, which include sites with electrical hookups, group sites, and equestrian facilities.

You can take trail rides, jeep tours, or a stagecoach ride, participate in a bison cookout and singalong, hike or bike the park's miles of trails, take in a play at the playhouse, visit the Fort Robinson Museum, maintained by the Nebraska State Historical Society, and much more!

The park has a bison herd and a Texas Longhorn herd, and visitors can also expect to see pronghorn, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, wild turkeys and other wildlife.

Fort Robinson State Park

Fort Robinson State Park:
Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, NE 69339, USA

get directions


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)