“The idea behind Fort Kearny had its genesis in the 1844 report of the Secretary of War, recommending the construction of a chain of military posts from the Missouri to the Rockies to protect the Oregon migration. An act of Congress in 1846 authorized such posts and the creation of an Oregon Battalion., the Regiment of Mounted Volunteers. This led to the encampment at Table Creek [on the Missouri River] which soon proved to be a gross error in geographic judgment, and, on June 1, 1847, the War Department directed that an alternate military station be established ‘near Grand Island where the road to California encounters the Platte River.’ . . .
By May 1 Table Creek was abandoned, and by June all officers and men of the Missouri Volunteers had arrived at the ‘Head of Grand Island’ to erecy the ‘1st military station on the route to Oregon.'”