Bent’s Fort in the 1840’s
Bent’s “Old” Fort was completed in 1833 by the four Bent brothers and their trading partner Ceran St. Vrain. It served as a trading post on the Sante Fe Trail and as the rendezvous point for Kearney’s march on Sante Fe during the Mexican War. In 1852 William Bent destroyed the fortress which was replaced by the “New” Bent’s Fort 30 miles to the east.
Earliest reported usage from what is now Colorado
1 August 1846 Bent’s Fort, Unorganized Territory (Missouri Country) to Connecticut by Military Express to Ft. Leavenworth, Missouri Country where it entered the mails on 31 August 1846
Soldier’s letter, from a member of the Doniphan and Kearnedy expedition on their way to Sante Fe, mentions:
“It is very pleasant at the fort. It is on a rise about 1/4 mile from the river and was built to keep off the Indians. In all, there are three block houses with holes so that you can fire at any position. In fact, about all buildings have port holes in case of need.”