Fort Douglas Military Museum

Fort Douglas Military Museum The mission of the Fort Douglas Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Fort Dou


32 Potter Street
Salt Lake City, UT

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12pm - 5pm
Wednesday 12pm - 5pm
Thursday 12pm - 5pm
Friday 12pm - 5pm
Saturday 12pm - 5pm


(801) 581-1251


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Our History

After the Civil War began in 1861 it was necessary to recall regular troops from frontier duty for action against the South, leaving the overland mail route to California unguarded from attack by hostile Indians. President Lincoln called for volunteers, and Patrick E. Connor was appointed Colonel (Brevet Major General) of the Third California Volunteer Infantry. Colonel Connor was directed to establish a post near Salt Lake City, both to protect the overland mail route and to keep an eye on the Mormons.

Camp Douglas (Fort Douglas) was established on 26 October 1862; it was named after the late Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. Winter was approaching and dugouts were quickly built. The next summer log buildings were erected. The post was rebuilt of red sandstone in 1873–76 and the existing brick buildings were built in the early 1900s.

The first major Indian engagement for the troops was the Battle of Bear River in Idaho on 28 January 1863. A band of Shoshoni Indians were almost annihilated, nearly three hundred Indians were killed, while twenty-three soldiers were killed or died later. The volunteers were discharged by 1866 and were replaced by regulars from the 18th Infantry.

Rails were joined at Promontory, Utah, in 1869 permitting rapid deployment of the local troops. Fort Douglas units participated in the northern plains campaigns of the 1860s and 1870s and in the Sioux War of 1890. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, the 24th Infantry, a Black regiment stationed at Fort Douglas, fought gallantly in Cuba.

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