0948. Fort Decommissioned

"Ironically, Fort Larned’s last important job helped to make obsolete the Trail it so long protected. The close of the Civil War released the nations’s industrial energies, especially the railroad’s surge across the plains. Promising cheaper, faster transportation, the railroad shattered old ideas of distance. Trails of mud and dust could not compete with the trails of steel stretching westward from the Missouri River. In the early 1870s, as the Santa Fe Railroad pushed west from Topeka, Fort Larned soldiers protected those building it. In July 1878, nearly six years after the railroad was completed through Kansas, the fort was abandoned, except for a small guard force left to protect the property." 

-- Trail Brochure: A Guide to Fort Larned