December 13, 2022 | Last updated Dec 13, 2022

The Army’s Best Horsemen, 1940

Soldier falling off horse

“Thru These Portals Pass the Army’s Best Horsemen,” reads a sign above a barracks doorway at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. But one doesn’t train a horse without some, ah, awkward moments along the way. The best one can hope for is that a photographer isn’t standing nearby when the inevitable happens.

The fort began in 1874 as Camp Robinson and served as a cavalry outpost from the Indian Wars up until World War I, when the fort was virtually abandoned. After the war the fort took on a new role as the Army’s quartermaster remount depot, processing horses and mules for the cavalry and artillery. With opportunities for riding (even polo matches!), it was considered a plum assignment to be stationed at Fort Robinson during those years.

These days the fort is a state historical park. The adobe-brick officers’ quarters—visible here across the parade ground—are in high demand as guest houses for vacationers.

The Fort Robinson History Center has exhibits and online resources telling the fort’s story.

 

This story appears in Nebraska History Moments, a book published by History Nebraska.

(Photo: History Nebraska RG1517-44-16)

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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