Located on the mouth of the Chehalis River near Hoquiam and Grays Harbor. The
camp was garrisoned by
4 officers (commanded by Captain Maurice Maloney) and 52 enlisted men.
Camp Chehalis was also sometimes referred to as Fort Chehalis
Fort Cascade was built during the Yakima War to guard the portage road around
Cascade Rapids. It was
completed in 1855 and consisted of three block houses simply named Lower, Middle, and Upper. Middle
Blockhouse was later named Fort Rains after Major Gabriel Rains, under whose orders the fort was built.
The fort was garrisoned by 4 officers (Captain Henry D. Wallen commanding) and 55 enlisted men.
Located on Hamilton Island, the fort was burned during an Indian attack in 1856.
Rebuilt, it was abandoned in
1861. In 1894 the abandoned fort and the town of Cascades was destroyed by a flood on the Columbia river.
Lewis and Clarks 1806 campsite is located across the Columbia River, on the Oregon side,
from where Fort
Cascade was built.
Fort Cascade Historical Site is located one mile west of the Bonneville Dam, and is
reached from the dam
access road off of Washington Highway 14. It features and interpretive trail that leads to the Cascades townsite
and the Fort Cascades Compound. The trail follows the bed of the portage road as it was in 1836.
Fort Gaston was founded in late 1859 on the west bank of the Trinity River
some 14 miles from where the Trinity
flows into the Klamath River. Located in the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation it was intended to both control the
area’s Indians and to protect them from hostile whites. The post was named for 2nd Lieutenant William Gaston,
First Dragoons, killed in May of 1854. Founded by Captain Edmund Underwood of the Fourth U. S., it was manned
by Captain Underwood and one company of 56 men.
Renamed Camp Gaston in January of 1866 it was again designated Fort Gaston in April
of 1867. Abandoned
in June of 1892 the post was turned over the Department of the Interior.
Established in 1856 by Lieutenant Philip Sheridan, it was named for Lieutenant
Charles Hoskins, killed at
Monterey during the war with Mexico. The fort was one of three forts (see Fort Yamhill) built to enforce the
government’s policy of moving Indians onto reservations. The fort was garrisoned by Captain Christopher C.
Augur and two companies of the Fourth U. S.
Fort Hoskins is about 4 miles from Kings Valley, Oregon. It is located on Hoskins
Road, 1.5 miles west of
Oregon state route 223.
Fort Steilacoom, originally called Post on Puget Sound, was established in August of
1849. Located six miles
north of a Hudson Bay Company fort and trading post at Nisqually, Washington, the land was leased from the
Hudson Bay Company for $50 per month (the land was owned by the Puget Sound Agricultural Co., a Hudson
Bay Company subsidiary).
The Fort underwent a growth spurt in 1857 and 1858, around the Indian War years.
30 wood frame buildings
were erected to replace the original log buildings. The construction project, supervised by Lieutenant August
V. Kautz, was hampered by the Fraser River gold rush of 1858, when an already small work force was depleted
as men went off to the gold fields. Later, in 1861, the fort was left to the territorial militia, as the regular army
went off to fight in the Civil War.
The Fort was abandoned as a military post in 1868. The Washington Territory took
possession of the 640 acre
fort and farm, this time for use as an insane asylum. Opened in 1871, the former military barracks housed
mental patients and the hospital staff. The buildings were used, remodeled and abandoned or removed as the
hospital (the second oldest government facility in the state) grew.
The Historic Fort Steilacoom Association formed in 1970 to save the remaining original
buildings from being
torn down. The Fort Steilacoom Historic District, with four renovated buildings, is an interpretive center and
museum. It is located on the grounds of Western State Hospital in Lakewood Washington.
It was from Fort Steilacoom, in 1857, that Lieutenant Kautz, with the post surgeon,
2 enlisted men, and a guide,
made the first recorded attempt to climb Mount Rainier.
Fort Ter-waw (also called Ter-wer) was established in October 1857 by Captain George
Crook and Company D
of the Fourth U. S. Located at the mouth of the Klamath River, south of modern Crescent City, the post was
manned by Captain Crook (of future Indian fighting fame), two additional Officers, and Company D consisting of
The post was destroyed by a flood in 1861 and abandoned in 1862.
Established in 1856 by the U. S. Army for the protection of settlers. Timbers were
hewn and laths cut from the
forests of the vicinity. The entire garrison was transferred to San Juan Island during the border dispute. The fort
was closed between 1859 and 1874 as being deemed “unfit,” after an inspection by the commander of the army
headquarters in Columbia. Brought back to life in 1874, the fort thrived until 1895 when fire destroyed the barracks.
Fort Townsend was a small post with one officer (Captain Lewis C. Hunt) and 29 enlisted men.
The site was used as a munitions defusing station during World War II.
The Washington state took possession of the
Townsend property in 1953. Currently a Washington State park,
it is located on state route 20, approximately 4 miles south of Port Townsend. The current park consists of slightly
more than one third of the original fort and features camping, boating, hiking, and picnicking.
Fort Vancouver was established as a Hudson Bay Company fort in 1825. It served
as a supply base and a regional
operations headquarters. Years later, after a decline in the fur trade and an increase in American settlers, Hudson
Bay Company moved it’s base of operations to Vancouver Island (Fort Victoria). The Hudson Bay Company fort was
finally abandoned in 1860.
In 1849, just a short distance from the Hudson Bay fort, the U. S. Army established
Camp Vancouver. The post was
renamed Columbia Barracks in 1850 and later, in 1853, was renamed Fort Vancouver. In 1879, it was renamed
Headquarters and Company H of the Fourth U. S. was located at Fort Vancouver from
1853 until 1861. Fort Vancouver
was also the Headquarters of the Department of Oregon. Six companies of the Third Artillery was also stationed at
Fort Vancouver as were companies from the Ninth Infantry. In all, over 400 men were stationed at Fort Vancouver.
Ten miles from Portland, Fort Vancouver became a desirable duty assignment,
considered one of the Armies finest
posts. Officers stationed at Fort Vancouver in the 1850s include U. S. Grant and Philip H. Sheridan. The Fort was the
focal point for the Army until World War II when Fort Lewis, about 100 miles north, was established.
As for most other posts, Fort Vancouver was manned by volunteers (Companies from
the First Washington Volunteer
Infantry Regiment and companies of the First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, among others) during the Civil War.
While at Fort Vancouver, botanist David Douglas discovered the spruce that now bears his name (Douglas Fur).
Fort Vancouver was designated a
National Monument in June, 1948 and a National Historic Site in June, 1961.
Today the 366 acre Vancouver Historic Reserve and its adjacent area contains a recreated Fort Vancouver (Hudson
Bay Company), Vancouver Barracks, and a Kanaka Indian village.
Fort Yamhill was established in 1856 to control the eastern border of the Grand
Ronde Indian Reservation. It was
a small post with four officers (commanded by Captain David A. Russell) and Company K with 64 enlisted men. It
was one of three forts established to control the coastal reservations. The other two forts were Fort Hoskins and
A field survey conducted in 1991 shows that the fort consisted of at least 24
buildings which included a sentry box,
officers’ quarters, barracks, carpenter’s shop, blacksmith shop, hospital, cook houses, stables, barn, a sutler’s
store, laundress quarters, and more. Future Civil War General Philip H. Sheridan, then a 2nd lieutenant, supervised
the construction of some of these buildings. In 1911 a wooden blockhouse, used as a jail, was moved to the town
of Dayton (nearly 50 miles away), where it still stands.
Yamhill has been developed into an Oregon State Heritage Area. Developed by a
the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. The 55 acre site
(and an adjoining 112 acres owned by the tribes) opened in September of 2006. Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area is
in northern Polk county, near the junction of Oregon state routes 18 and 22.