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Southern Jog



Fort Kearny

Kearney, Nebraska; Buffalo County

As the number of travelers on the Oregon Trail grew so did the number of military posts along the trail. These posts were established across the West to protect travelers. The first post was founded in the spring of 1848 “near the head of the Grand Island” along the Platte River. It was first called Fort Childs, but was soon renamed Fort Kearny. 

Fort Kearny served as a stopping point on the trail. It was also a patrol post, supply station, and message center. It served 49ers bound for California and settlers traveling to the Pacific Northwest. By the 1860s the fort had become a significant freighting station and post of the Pony Express. It served its purpose as a fort as well during times of conflict. 

One of the fort’s final duties was the protection of workers building the Union Pacific. The fort stopped being used as a military fort in 1871. This site has been entered on the National Register of Historic Places.








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