In recent weeks I've been working on a new presentation to give when I'm out in the field. The "Forts of Nebraska" presentation will cover the 12 military posts I cover in my bookin a chronological order, giving a brief history of each with images of the time. It finishes up with the forts today, using photographs I took.
Should be fun! I've found some very nice images and historical maps of each of the periods covered. The "chapters" include The Trade Fort (Forts Atkinson), The Trails Forts (Old Fort Kearny, and Forts Kearny, McPherson and Mitchell), The Rail Forts (Forts Omaha, Sidney, and the Omaha Quartermaster Depot), The Reservation Forts (Forts Hartsuff, Niobrara and Robinson) and The Political Fort (Fort Crook).
As you can tell, the program covers the differing reasons that forts were built. There's kind of a general perception that they were built purely for protection from Indians which is far from the truth. I could go into that here, but then you might not come to the presentation! So keep watching the website for appearance dates - I think the first presentation will be at the W. Dale Clark Library (the downtown branch) in Omaha. I've put in for a "brown bagger" for lunchtime on Thursday, Feb. 12, the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth - kind of cool, being the history nut that I am.