Early Fort Sill Photograph
A rare bird's-eye photograph view of Fort Sill, Indian Territory. The image was clearly made from the roof of a two-story structure. The long stone infantry barracks are visible in the right of the image, with several other structures surrounding the main quad (with flag pole in center) clearly visible in the distance - likely the officers' quarters and commanding officer's house, with several fenced yards behind other officer's quarters in the foreground.
Fort Sill was staked out in 1869 by Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, as part of the U.S. government's efforts to stop tribes from raiding frontier settlements in Texas and Kansas. The fort was initially called "Camp Wichita" but Sheridan later named it in honor of a West Point classmate, Brigadier General Joshua W. Sill, who was killed in the Civil War. Members of the 10th Cavalry, a segregated African American unit of buffalo soldiers, constructed some of the stone buildings around the main quadrangle of the fort, which were built in the 1870s.
The photographer Connolley was active in Indian Territory in the 1880s. At some point he partnered with William Sawyers, with a studio in Purcell, Indian Territory, likely in the 1880s. Original photographs with Connolley's individual printed attribution are rare in the market.