Fort Bridger began serving as a trading post for emigrants traveling the Oregon Trail in 1843. However, when alternate routes were discovered, the fort was largely abandoned. In 1862, the U.S. Army occupied Fort Bridger, using it as a headquarters from which to combat Indian raids. During the Civil War, soldiers stationed in the West were charged with the important role of protecting the overland mail routes, which often supplied silver to finance the Union efforts. Fort Bridger continued as...