Fort Harney (1)

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Fort Harney (1867-1880) - Established by Company K of the 23rd U.S. Infantry, on 16 August 1867 on the west bank of the Rattlesnake River, near the present town of Burns, Harney County, Oregon. It was first called Camp Steele, then changed to Camp Harney and then to Fort Harney on 14 Sep 1867. The fort was named after Brig. Gen. William S. Harney. Also known as Camp Crook (1).

Fort Harney Site 2008.
Fort Harney Period Photo.


In 1874 the fort was garrisoned by companies of the 21st U.S. Infantry and Troop K, 1st U.S. Cavalry. By 1877 the fort consisted of a headquarters; a commanding officers' quarters; five officers' quarter buildings; three log soldiers' barracks; kitchens; mess halls; four log houses for married enlisted men; a parade ground running north-south and other support structures.

Camp Steele was expanded in 1867 after a group of Chinese miners was ambushed by Indians en route to Silver City, Idaho.

When the Bannock and Paiute tribes surrendered at the end of the Bannock Indian War in 1878, all Indians were then rounded up and held at Fort Harney, regardless of which side they were on. In January 1879, over 500 Paiutes were loaded into wagons or ordered to walk to Fort Simcoe on the Yakima Reservation and to Fort Vancouver in Washington state. In knee-deep snow the men were forced to march, shackled two by two, while the women and children were later taken to Fort Boise.

The fort was abandoned on 24 Jun 1880.

Current Status

Private property. No visible remains at the old fort site other than the fort cemetery and a small sign alongside the road with a drawn plan of Camp Harney.

Location: On privately owned land approximately
fifteen miles northeast of Burns, Harney County, Oregon.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.6675 Long: -118.80778

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 4,265'

GPS Locations:



Fortification ID:

  • OR0075 - Fort Harney (1)
  • OR0050 - Camp Crook (1)
  • OR0159 - Camp Steele (1)
  • OR0076 - Camp Harney

Visited: 10 Oct 2009

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