Fort Reno Oklahoma
Fort Reno was established near Darlington Indian Agency in July, 1875. At the time, the fort was located within the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in the federal territory that was officially known as "Indian Territory." The fort was established in response to the Cheyenne Uprising of 1874. The 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry "Buffalo Soldiers" and the all Black 4th and 25th Infantry units served here.The fort served in many capacities through the years, transitioning from a frontier outpost to a facility operated by the US Army. Many historic buildings remain and have been restored. Some of which are used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a remount station horses and mules were raised here for other military units. In later years the Fort became a gathering place for local community events ,rodeo and polo matches The government continues to maintain a cemetery at this location, the final resting place of Native American scouts, soldiers, and German and Italian prisoners of war. The Historic Fort Reno corporation holds community events at the Fort. There are tours and special programs. On November 11, each year a memorial service is held at the Fort.
Backstory and Context
The Cheyenne and Arapaho were encouraged to camp around Fort Reno with some of them being employed as guides on some of the western campaigns It was during this time period that the "Buffalo Soldiers" were also passing though. They often traveled with the herds of cattle moving from Texas along the Chisholm Trail to the railroads in Kansas.
Fort Reno served as a Remount Station raising and breeding horses and mules for military units serving in mountainous country nowhere roads were limited There were periods when the Fort would have rodeos and there was a polo matches. The polo grounds no longer exist.
During World War II Fort Reno was used as a prisoner of war camp for German and Italian Soldiers. The Chapel on the grounds was built by German soldiers. North of the parade grounds there is the Post Cemetery and is separated by a low stone wall where 70 German and Italian prisoners of war were laid to rest.