Following the 1874 establishment of military posts near the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies for the Oglala and Brule Sioux, the army laid out a forty-two-mile road to transport military and Indian supplies between the agencies and posts.
Oglala leader Crazy Horse traveled the road on his final journey, when an army officer and Indian scouts escorted him from Camp Sheridan to Camp (later Fort) Robinson on September 5, 1877. Crazy Horse was killed that night while resisting imprisonment and his father returned his body to Camp Sheridan the next day. After Red Cloud Agency was relocated to Dakota Territory in 1878 and renamed Pine Ridge Agency, the road was extended there. By 1881 a telegraph line paralleled the road.
With the coming of settlers in the late 1870s, civilian stagecoaches and wagons traveled the road. The government continued to use it to deliver Indian agency supplies into the 1880s. Completion of the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad through northwestern Nebraska in 1885-86 relegated the road to local use.
Dawes County Historical Society
Nebraska State Historical Society
Nebraska Department of Roads Transportation Enhancement Program,
Intersection of 16th Street and U. S. 385, Chadron