Overlooking the Arkansas River in the Colorado Territory, Bent's New Fort was established in 1853 near Big Timbers, by William Bent as a second attempt at a trading post. It flourished until around 1859 when the US Army moved into the area and built Fort Wise just down the hill from Bent's Fort. The US Army agreed to use Brent's New Fort as a quartermaster depot but once established they treated Brent as a squatter, refusing to pay rent for the forts use. When Bent moved upriver away from the fort, the entire area was consolidated into Fort Lyon and managed by the US Army.
After a massacre of Cheyenne near Sand Creek in 1864, and with the British declaration of war, the US pulled troops out of it's western forts to man the trenches being dug in Kentucky and Vermont. Fort Lyon fell into disrepair other than the occasional occupation by Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche following the buffalo herds.
Following the Tejano/Indian Peace Accord and naturalization of Natives in the Republic, relations with tribes outside Texas became friendly. When gold was discovered, and some say more with the discovery of stygium, the Republic sent 500 cavalry, 200 infantry, and a company of engineers to the dilapidated Fort Lyon. By 1878, telegraph lines had been run back to Texas and communications established with agents in the Plains Nation and disputed territory.
Now Bent's New Fort serves as a major outpost for the Republic of Texas, both as a military facility, and a trading post with the tribes living in the region and settlers heading West along the Santa Fe Trail. As such the Republic has a firm hold on the Colorado Territory from Kansas to Deseret and north to Arapaho Territory.