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Camp Carlin, Wyoming Territory

In August, 1867, Colonel Elias B. Carling selected the site of the supply depot which he was to establish, on the military reservation, about a mile and a half down the creek from Port Russell, proper. It was about half way between Fort Russell and Cheyenne. This was a military "camp" and was usually garrisoned by a detached company of infantry. It was called Camp Carling in honor of Colonel Carling. From the beginning there was confusion in spelling the name, sometimes it was Carling, sometimes Carlin, even in official records. The granite marker that now stands on the site of the old flag* pole says "Camp Carlin". The official name of the supply depot was "Cheyenne Depot".

At Camp Carlin, large warehouses were built along the railroad siding so that freight cars could be unloaded on the platforms. There were also deep cellars for storage of vegetables and potatoes and other supplies that might be damaged by frost.

It was the second largest depot in the United States Army, and was something of a marvel to the frontiersmen, mountain men and trappers who came in to this outpost of the greater world. The camp had sixteen large warehouses, in addition to blacksmith shops, wheelwright shops, carpenter shops, saddle and harness shops, sales stores, cook and bunk houses, wagon sheds, stables and corrals. One hundred wagons and five pack trains operated from the depot and in the corrals were never less than 1,000 mules. Nearly 500 men, teamsters, packers, artisans and laborers were employed at Camp Carlin, and twelve army posts,

some of them 400 miles distant, were supplied from this point.

The road from Fort Russell to Cheyenne followed Crow Creek and passed through Camp Carlin, a convenient half-way stopping place on the way to and from the "city". (Cheyenne).

As the need for use of military force against predatory Indians lessened and finally vanished, Camp Carlin shrank in size and importance, and at last, in 1887 or 1888, passed out of existence.

 

Source: Annals of Wyoming, Camp Carlin, 1945

 

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