Guarding Overland Stage

Fort Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays, located in northwest Kansas, served as an example of black agency.  Active from 1865 to 1889, its garrison protected stagecoach and railway traffic along the Smoky Hill River to Denver. Stationed there in the late 1860s, troops from the 38th Infantry and the 10th Cavalry compromised the majority of the post’s enlisted men up to 1869. 

Because of its central location and proximity to the railroad, Fort Hays served as General Philip Sheridan’s administrative headquarters and a depot for goods arriving by rail during the 1868-69 campaign.

This photograph shows Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Hays, Kansas, guarding a U.S. express overland stagecoach preparing to depart for Denver, c. 1860.

2014.1.7, Courtesy of Fort Concho National Historic Landmark