Fort Spokane - Buffer Between Settlers and Native Tribes - 1880
Fort Spokane is located at the junction of the Spokane River with the Columbia River. Across the Spokane River was the Spokane Indian Reservation. Across the Columbia River was the Colville Indian Reservation. Chief Joseph and a band of Nez Perce camped on the Colville Reservation after he was allowed to return to the Northwest in 1885.
The Fort was established in 1880 to be a buffer between settlers and the Indian Reservations. The Fort had 45 buildings at one time. Two buildings were made of bricks: the Guard House and the Powder Magazine. The others were made with wood. (The only ones still on the grounds today are the two brick buildings.) Officers had houses on one side of the parade grounds. Soldiers had barracks on the other side. The parade grounds in the middle was where the soldiers practiced marching and other drills. During their free time, they played baseball. They had a lot of fun playing baseball.
This is the Guardhouse at Fort Spokane. Inside they have jail cells, and solitary cells where prisoners of the Fort were kept. The two Solitary cells were for prisoners who commited more serious offenses. Each solitary prisoner was given a blanket, a tin cup and if they were lucky a newspaper. The common cells could hold 25 men. Soldiers were put in jail for getting into fights after drinking alcohol and trying to run away. There were two other rooms for the guards to use. Guards were on watch in 24 hr shifts. During the shift they were on duty for two hours and off for four hours, then back on for two, etc. for 24 hrs.
Hi, I am an Infantry soldier. This is my uniform. My belt holds all my bullets and this sharp knife. I wear this white shirt with this heavy wool jacket . I am a private soldier, so I don't have white stripes on my pants. The cannon soldiers wear red stripes and the medical soldiers have green stripes. I have to wear these stiff canvas leggings to protect my shins. This canteen is so I don't get dehydrated on the trail. Each soldier gets one half of a tent . I usually buddy up with another soldier so I have a whole tent. These are the stakes I use to put my tent up.
This is a Cavalry uniform worn by the Cavalry unit at Fort Spokane. There are yellow stripes on the pants. My belt has a pouch for bullets and a bayonet on my belt. I keep supplies in my Haversack. You will find these items:
soap: it is important to keep your feet clean when marching.
mess kit: a pan and a plate
canned food: fruit or beans
knife, fork, spoon
hardtack: really hard cracker to add to hot liquids
jaw harp: to entertain yourself and friends
candle: fits into the bayonet in case you want to read in your tent
copyright (c) 1997, Discovery School
Report created 1997.
All rights reserved.
Revised: September 22, 2002; 10/4/2009
Last Modified on July 27, 2011