Fort Walla Walla, one of the longest-occupied military posts in the Northwest, was home to dragoon, infantry, artillery, and cavalry units from 1856 to 1910. The presence of the Fort helped keep peace between settlers and the Homeland tribal peoples during much of this period. Soldiers from the Fort were only involved in a handful of military engagements, including that of Colonel Edward J. Steptoe and his men in 1858 and several battles during the Nez Perce and Bannock-Paiute Wars two decades later. After closing in 1910, the Fort briefly reopened during World War I as a training base for artillery.
The Museum’s collection of military artifacts and archival photos as well as paintings and drawings brings this history to vivid life. Look back on the times and the people involved through stories, documents, and outstanding artifacts, including a 1902 14th Cavalry dress uniform, rare insignia and accouterments from belt buckles to cartridge boxes, and weapons ranging from an 1860 Light Cavalry Saber to a Colt dragoon revolver lost by one of Steptoe’s men.