Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ft. Caspar Cemetery, Casper Wyoming

Tombstone for Lt. Caspar Collins. Collins is not actually buried here, but his men were at one time.

These are photographs of the cemetery at Ft. Caspar, Wyoming. The cemetery was the post cemetery for Platte Bridge Station/Ft. Caspar, the frontier Army post occupied off and up until the 1860s, and then on a permanent basis through most of the 1860s. The post was abandoned as part of the settlement reached during Red Cloud's War.

The cemetery contained the bodies of soldiers lost at the Battle Platte Bridge Station, as well as those who otherwise died on post during the 1860s, but not to the exclusion of other locations. Originally thought to be the exclusive post cemetery, excavations, principally for construction projects, has revealed that there were in fact several other locations within 1/2 mile of the post that were also used. The exact reason for this is unknown, but there is some speculation that the bodies of those who died in the post hospital were buried off post, perhaps due the concern of spreading disease.

In the 20th Century the U.S. Army determined to consolidate military cemeteries and recovered the bodies of many men who were buried at remote posts such as this. This included the bodies of those buried at Ft. Caspar. However, given the presence of several burial grounds around the post, not all of the bodies were actually recovered. As discussed elsewhere on this site, there were also those buried at other local posts which, at least in one instance, were not recovered. This particular cemetery now contains only tombstones, but it is probable that the bodies of soldiers are still buried on or near the post. The bodies of those killed at the Battle of Red Buttes, which occurred on the same day as the Battle of Platte Bridge Station, and which was visible from the post, were buried in a common grave which has been lost.

The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial in Natrona County is located immediately astride this cemetery.

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