In reality, only three soldiers ever died in combat with Native American during the fort's entire 25-year life. Instead, fellow Americans proved to more violent and more deadly in the neighboring town of Leasburg. The soldiers were frequently called on to assist law and order along the frontier.
Once nearly deserted in light of the few Native American attacks, the fort resumed importance 1880, when America began expanding its railroad system. The fort became a central base to protect railroad workers. However, as Fort Bliss in Texas eventually eclipsed Fort Selden, and the last troops left the fort in 1891.
Today a visitor's center includes exhibits and living history presentations. Crumbling adobe walls and the foundations of soldiers' quarters can otherwise be respectfully explored and seen.