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.
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.
first major Indian engagement for the troops was the Battle
of Bear River in Idaho on 28 January 1863. A band of Shoshone
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