Fort Sanders was a wooden fort constructed in 1866 on the Laramie Plains in southern Wyoming, near the city of Laramie. Originally named Fort John Buford, it was renamed Fort Sanders after General William P. Sanders who died at the Siege of Knoxville during the American Civil War. This was the second fort to be named after Sanders, the first being in Knoxville, Tennessee. The fort was originally intended to protect travelers on the nearby Overland Trail from Indian attacks
In 1869 the town of Laramie (originally called “Laramie City”) was created about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the fort. Fort Sanders became less important following the construction of Fort D. A. Russell in Cheyenne in 1868, but the War Department maintained it until 1882 when the buildings were sold.