Camp Collins (also known as the Fort Collins Military Reservation) was a 19th-century outpost of the United States Army in the Colorado Territory. The fort was commissioned in the summer of 1862 to protect the Overland Trail from attacks by Native Americans in a conflict that later became known as the Colorado War. Located along the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, it was relocated from its initial location near Laporte after a devastating flood. Its second location downstream on the Poudre was used until 1866 and became the nucleus around which the City of Fort Collins was founded.
The camp was commissioned on July 22, 1862 and later named for Lt. Col. William O. Collins, colonel of the 11th Ohio Cavalry and the commandant of Fort Laramie, the headquarters of the U.S. Army's West Sub-district of the District of Nebraska. The initial camp at Laporte was constructed and manned by Company B, 9th Kansas Cavalry. The mission of the fort was to protect the emigrant trains and Overland Stage lines on the Overland Trail from the growing hostile attacks of the Plains Indians. The growing hostility of the Lakota to white encroachment further north had forced the temporary relocation of the Emigrant Trail from the North Platte River to the South Platte valley. Although relations with the Arapaho and Cheyenne in the vicinity of the camp were largely peaceful, the hostility of the Pawnee and other tribes on the Colorado Eastern Plains towards white settlement prompted the Army to establish the fort as a precautionary measure to protect the trail.
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