Southern Montana

Fort Alexander (1) | Fort Alexander (2) | Fort Assiniboine (1) | Fort Benton (1)
Big Horn Barracks | Big Horn Post (1) | Big Horn Post (2) | Brasseau's House | Fort Cass
Camp Crook | Fort Crow | Fort Custer | Fort Gilbert | Glendive Cantonment | Fort Henry (3)
Fort Howes | Fort Keogh | Fort Lisa | Lisa's Post | Fort Manuel | Fort Manuel Lisa
Camp Merritt | Fort Pease | Camp Porter | Fort Ransom | Fort Raymond | Fort Remon
Fort Sarpy (1) | Fort Sarpy (2) | Fort C.F. Smith | Stanley's Stockade | Camp Terry
Tongue River Barracks | Cantonment on the Tongue River | Tulloch's Fort | Fort Van Buren
New Post on the Yellowstone

Northern Montana - page 1 | Western Montana - page 3

FORTS AND FIGHTS OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST

FORT WIKI - MONTANA

Last Update: 21/FEBRUARY/2009
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - 2009 American Forts Network

Fort Gilbert
(1864 - 1867), near Sidney
A civilian trading post on the Yellowstone River. A marker locates the site five miles north of town on MT 200.

Fort Assiniboine (1)
(1834 - 1835), unknown location
A temporary 100-foot square stockaded trading post and depot on the Yellowstone River where the steamboat Assiniboine went aground on a sandbar, during the first known attempt to ascend the river by steamboat. Exact location undetermined.

John Brasseau's House
(1830's ?), near Savage ?
An American Fur Co. trader out of Fort Union, ND established a small post about 50 miles up the Yellowstone River.

Glendive Cantonment
(1877), Glendive
A temporary Army supply depot during construction of Fort Keogh. Located on the north bank of the Yellowstone River across from the mouth of Glendive Creek.
(info courtesy of Jerome Grenz)

Camp Porter
(1880 - 1881), Glendive
An Army camp that protected Northern Pacific railroad workers.

Col. David S. Stanley's Stockade
(1873, 1876), near Glendive
An Army supply depot for the Northern Pacific Railroad survey team, located six miles south of town. The site was also later used by troops under General Alfred H. Terry in his 1876 campaign.

Camp Terry
(1876 - 1882, intermittent), near Terry
An Army supply depot during General Alfred Terry's 1876 campaign, located on the Yellowstone River at the Powder River. Intermittently used thereafter until the Northern Pacific Railroad reached this area.

Fort Keogh
(USDA - ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory)
(1876 - 1908/1924), Miles City
First known as Cantonment on the Tongue River, established two months after the Battle of Little Bighorn. In 1877 the post was rebuilt one mile west of the original location and was known as New Post on the Yellowstone or Tongue River Barracks, then renamed yet again in 1878. After the Infantry left in 1908, it became an Army Remount Station and Quartermaster Depot until 1924. The USDA acquired the post in 1924 as a Livestock and Range Research Laboratory. Of the more than 120 buildings originally built by the Army, only seven remained by 1924. Only four original buildings are still extant today, a recently restored Wagon Shed and three Officers' Quarters. One of the original Officers' quarters was moved to the Range Riders Museum in town (west end of Main Street) and has been fully restored (admission fee). Two other original Officers' quarters were moved away from the old parade ground in the 1980's and sat abandoned until purchased in 2004 and were planned to be restored as private homes (one building collapsed in 2008 and has since been dismantled). The so-called General Miles Quarters on the USDA grounds burned down in 1973. The original 1876 site on the Tongue River still features dirt mounds and the remains of a partial wall. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped near here in 1806.

Fort Sarpy (1)
(1850 - 1855), Rosebud
An American Fur Co. trading post located on the Yellowstone River five miles below the mouth of Rosebud Creek. Also known as Fort Alexander (Culbertson) (2). It was abandoned and burned.
(thanks to Marshall Sitrin for additional info)

Fort Van Buren
(1835 - 1842), near Rosebud
An American Fur Co. trading post at the mouth of Rosebud Creek. It was burned down when abandoned. This was the American Fur Company's second post built on the Yellowstone River.

Fort Alexander (McKenzie) (1)
(1842 - 1850), near Cartersville
An American Fur Co. 100-foot square stockaded trading post located opposite the mouth of Rosebud Creek. The Blackfeet Indians referred to this post as Fort Crow. It was burned down when abandoned. No trace remains.

Fort Pease
(1875 - 1876), near Bighorn
An independent trader's 100-foot square stockaded trading post on the north bank of the Yellowstone River, seven miles below the Big Horn River. It was abandoned and then burned by Indians. Fellows D. Pease was previously the government agent to the Crow Indians.

Fort Cass
(1832 - 1835), Bighorn
An American Fur Co. 130-foot square log stockade trading post, with two blockhouses, often called Samuel Tulloch's Fort, located two miles below the site of Fort Manuel.

Fort Sarpy (2)
(1857 - 1860), Bighorn
An American Fur Co. post, a 100-foot square log stockade at the mouth of the Big Horn River.

Fort Manuel
(1807 - 1808, 1809 - 1812 ?), Bighorn
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post at the mouth of the Bighorn River. It was originally named Fort Remon (or Fort Raymond) for Lisa's son. It was rebuilt larger in 1809 and renamed, but was also known variously as Fort Manuel Lisa, Fort Lisa, Lisa's Post, and Big Horn Post (1). Due to shifting river channels, the exact site has never been found by archaeologists.

Fort Benton (1)
(1821 - 1822), Bighorn
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post located near Fort Manuel, built by Michael Immell and Robert Jones.

Fort Henry (3)
(1823 - 1824), near Custer
A wintering post for Andrew Henry and William Ashley's trading expedition, located on the south bank of the Yellowstone River.

Fort Howes
(1897), near Otter
A civilian 12-by 18-foot rock breastwork located five miles northeast of town at the Howes' Ranch. The threat of a Cheyenne uprising never materialized and the fort was never actually used.

Camp Crook
(1890), near Lame Deer ?
An Army camp located near the Tongue River Indian Agency.

Camp Merritt
(1890, 1898), Lame Deer
An Army camp at the Tongue River Indian Agency on Lame Deer Creek. It became a subpost of Fort Keogh in 1898.

Fort Custer
(1877 - 1898), Hardin
Constructed one year after the Battle of Little Bighorn (June 1876), and originally named Big Horn Post (2) or Big Horn Barracks. The buildings were eventually sold at auction and most were used to build the Crow Indian Agency, and later the town of Hardin, two miles northeast of the site of the actual fort. One of the Officers' quarters was later moved to the town of Fort Smith and is now the Bunkhouse Bed and Breakfast located at 15077 West 1st Street. A replica of the fort is at the Bighorn County Historical Museum. A D.A.R. stone monument (1930) is at the actual site, where several cellar holes and depressions still remain on the grounds of a private golf course.

Fort C.F. Smith
(Crow Indian Reservation)
(1866 - 1868), Fort Smith
Originally called Fort Ransom in 1866. The state's first Federal fort, it was built to protect the Bozeman Trail. Besieged for about six months in 1866 - 1867, the "Hayfield Fight" occurred about 2.5 miles east of the fort along War Man Creek on August 1, 1867, in which 31 soldiers held off 800 Cheyenne warriors. The stockaded fort was later abandoned according to treaty, and was then burned by the Indians. The actual fort site is on private property, but group tours can be arranged at the Yellowtail Dam Visitors Center of Bighorn Canyon NRA. A stone monument (1933) still remains on site. An 1868 monument for the "Hayfield Fight" was once located in the fort's cemetery, but was later moved to Custer National Cemetery at the Little Bighorn Battlefield. A modern marker for the battle is located 2.5 miles north of town off MT 313.


Thanks to Jerome Grenz for additional information on Montana forts and posts.

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