Named for General John Sedgwick, who led Union military campaigns into the area, Fort Sedgwick was built on the Platte Trail and was used as a military outpost from 1864 to 1871. Since the neighboring town of Julesburg was a hotbed of feuding between white settlers and American Indians, Fort Sedgwick was often used as a hideout, even for local residents who watched Julesburg burn to the ground in 1865. Fearing additional attacks from American Indians who were outraged over the bloody Sand Creek Massacre, the local military used the fort to protect all types of passengers traveling along the Overland Trail.
The Colorado Welcome Center in Julesburg (exit 180) is a good starting point for exploring Sedgwick County's past. This is also the genesis of the 19-mile South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, which runs through Ovid and passes 10 historic sites along the way. Signage in downtown Ovid also explains the community's historic use as a war-time German encampment site.