Christmas at Fort Robinson

General George R. Crook's Headquarters, Fort Fetterman (Harper's Weekly, December 17, 1876)

General George R. Crook's Headquarters, Fort Fetterman (Harper's Weekly, December 17, 1876)

Frontier Army ChristmasFort Robinson provides the following holiday story of devotion and courage from A Frontier Army Christmas, compiled and annotated by Lori A. Cox-Paul and Dr. James Wengert, and published by the Nebraska State Historical Society. In December 1882 Corp. Martin J. Weber of the Fifth Cavalry, stationed at Fort Robinson, was ordered to report to the quartermaster at Fort Sidney, the nearest rail point, to fetch the Christmas goods for the fort.

Taking a driver and a six-mule team, Weber carried out his orders and headed back to Fort Robinson. He said: “The weather had turned cold and frost began to fly through the air indicating a storm. The next morning the storm broke in all its fury, a regular blizzard raging. We had to head into the storm. We made Camp Clarke where the Sidney-Black Hills Trail crossed the North Platte River. The bridge tender and his wife advised us to stay until the storm passed. As much as we disliked to leave the snug quarters and hot meals, we bid them goodbye and headed into the storm.”

Learn about the last leg of Weber’s journey to bring Christmas to Fort Robinson in a Timeline column on the Nebraska State Historical Society website. Read the preface to A Frontier Army Christmas, available from the NSHS Landmark Stores.— Patricia C. Gaster, Assistant Editor for Research and Publications

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