Ready for a trip to northwestern Nebraska’s beautiful Pine Ridge area? I hope so, because today we’re going to visit Fort Robinson, a former army post that’s the poster child for reinvention.
It all started with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 in which the government agreed to provide food and supplies, what some called annuities, to the Native American tribes who agreed to live on reservations. In 1873 the government established the Red Cloud Indian Agency at what is now Fort Robinson to distribute those annuities to Red Cloud’s Ogalala Sioux. Unfortunately, not everything went as smoothly as some might have expected. When nontreaty bands of Indians threatened the agency, demanding supplies, shots broke out, resulting in several deaths, including that of the acting agent. But it was the death of Lt. Levi Robinson near Fort Laramie on February 9, 1874 that had the greatest impact on the area, since when troops were sent to establish a tent camp to protect the agency, they honored the lieutenant by naming it Camp Robinson.
Two months later, the camp was moved a mile and a half away from the original site, and tents were replaced by the permanent log and adobe buildings of what is now called the “old post.”
Primary responsibilities of the soldiers stationed at Camp Robinson were protecting the Red Cloud Agency and keeping the peace during the Indian wars. As you might guess, that proved difficult, and the camp’s history includes the death of Crazy Horse, who was mortally wounded in a scuffle when resisting imprisonment in 1877, and the Cheyenne Breakout of 1879, which resulted in the deaths of 64 Cheyenne and eleven soldiers.
Though the Red Cloud Agency was relocated to a Missouri River site in 1877, Camp Robinson remained an important part of the western military, and in 1878, its permanence was recognized by renaming it Fort Robinson.
More changes were coming. When the railroad reached the fort in 1887, the army expanded the post, creating what was in essence a new post, complete with a much larger parade ground and additional housing, all needed because it had become the regimental headquarters for the Ninth Cavalry, a unit of African American soldiers.
Within a short time, Fort Robinson had surpassed Fort Laramie as the most important military post in the area.
Times changed, and by WWI the fort was all but abandoned. Abandoned, but not forgotten, because in 1919, it became the quartermaster remount depot, providing horses and mules to the army. When the army replaced horses and mules with motorized vehicles, Fort Robinson was once again in limbo.
Time for more reinvention. From 1933 through 1935, it became a regional headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and during WWII it was not only a site for K-9 training but – more importantly – a camp for 3,000 German POWs. After WWII, the USDA turned it into a beef research station, and then in the 1950s it had its final reinvention, emerging as Fort Robinson State Park, a place where you can not only learn about history but where you can also spend a night or two in the same buildings where the army once lived.
What does all this have to do with my new release? Very little. A Borrowed Dream takes place in the Texas Hill Country, not Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. Its characters have no connection to the military. But like the fort itself, they’ve had to reinvent themselves. Catherine’s life has been shattered by her mother’s death and the realization that the man she had hoped to marry was fickle, while Austin has had to flee Philadelphia, abandoning his life as a successful surgeon to protect his daughter. What choice do they have but to create new lives?
I hope you enjoyed reading about Fort Robinson and hope it’s piqued your interest. And, of course, I hope you’re intrigued by the premise of
There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . .
Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor’s treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
I’m offering a signed copy of it to one commenter.
US addresses only.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, A Stolen Heart, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.
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