Western North Dakota

Fort Atkinson | Cantonment Bad Lands | Camp Barbour | Fort Berthold (1) | Fort Berthold (2)
New Fort Berthold (3) | Fort Buford | Cadell Village | Fort Clark | Confluence Camp
Fort Dilts | Dauphin House | Fort Floyd (a) | Fort Floyd (b) | Gerard's Post | Heart River Corral
Fort Henry (2) | Camp Houston | Huff Village | Fort James | Jupiter's Fort | Jusseaume's House
Fort Kipp | Kipp's Post | Knife River Villages | Fort Lewis | Fort Lincoln (1)
Cantonment at Little Missouri Crossing | Fort Manuel Lisa (2)
Fort McKean | Fort McKeen | Fort Makay | Fort Mandan (1) | Fort Mandan (2)
Fort Manuel (1) | Molander Village | Fort Mortimer | North Cannonball Village
Primeau's Post | Fort Rice | Fort Rice Village | Fort Sauerkraut | Camp Seclusion
Cantonment at Sentinel Butte Station | Smith's and Boller's Post
Post at Standing Rock Agency | Fort Stevenson | Camp Sully | Tilton's Post | Fort Union (1)(2)
Fort Vanderburgh | White Earth River Posts | Fort William (1) | Fort William (2) | Fort Yates

Eastern North Dakota - page 1


Last Update: 06/AUGUST/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2019 American Forts Network

Fort Yates
(Standing Rock Indian Reservation)
(1874 - 1903), Fort Yates
This fort replaced Fort Rice, and was replaced in turn by Fort Lincoln (2) in Bismark. Originally named Post at Standing Rock Indian Agency until 1878. Although abandoned by the military in 1903, it remained the headquarters for the Indian Reservation. The fort's original Guardhouse (1870's) still exists at Cottonwood Street and Proposal Ave., although it is not open to the public. Located nearby is the Sitting Bull Gravesite (1890), near Yates and Dike Streets. The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the night near here in 1804.

North Cannonball Indian Village
(North Cannonball Archaeological Site)
(unknown dates), near Cannon Ball
Ruins of a precontact fortified Mandan village on the north bank of the Cannonball River. Explorer John Evans named the site Jupiter's Fort in 1796, for some unknown reason. The earthen remnants of the ditch and several bastions have been badly disturbed over the years by modern agriculture.

Fort Rice Indian Village
(Lower Fort Rice Archaeological Site)
(unknown dates), near Fort Rice
A precontact fortified Mandan village.

Fort Rice (State Historical Site)
(1864 - 1879), Fort Rice
A crude log and earthen fort established by General Alfred Sully, located opposite the mouth of Long Lake Creek. It was rebuilt with adobe in 1868. Replaced by Fort Yates. Two blockhouses were once restored, but were burned down in 1977. No remains. Interpretive markers on site.

Cadell Indian Village
(Cadell Homestead Archaeological Site)
(unknown dates), near Fort Rice
A precontact fortified Mandan village that appears to have been larger than the Huff Site (see below).

Huff Indian Village (State Historical Site)
(1480 - unknown), Huff
A fortified Mandan village containing about 100 houses. Site has been excavated.

Fort Abraham Lincoln (1) (State Park)
(1872 - 1891), Mandan
Originally an infantry post known as Fort McKeen (or McKean), it was located on a bluff at the mouth of the Heart River. Late 1872 it was moved to the flatland and renamed, becoming primarily a cavalry post although some infantry companies were still stationed on the bluff for a time. This was the headquarters of the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry before they were wiped out at the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876). The Fort McKean site has three 1930's CCC reconstructed blockhouses. The Fort Lincoln site has the CCC reconstructed 1873 Custer House and several other buildings, including the barracks and post commissary (museum). The fort was abandoned after the Northern Pacific Railroad was complete and the Sioux were settled on reservations. Settlers then dismantled the post for the lumber. Became a state park in 1907. Admission fee. The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the night here in 1804 at an abandoned Mandan village (1575 - 1781). The village, named "On-A-Slant", was reconstructed by the CCC in the 1930's, and again in the 1990's.

Molander Indian Village (State Historical Site)
(1780 - 1845), Price
A late period fortified Mandan village. Site located on private property.

Fort Mandan (1) (State Historical Site)
(1804 - 1805), near Washburn
Lewis and Clark built a stockaded winter camp near here in November 1804, just across the river from a Mandan village. Sakakawea (also spelled Sacagawea) joined them on their journey from this point. She was from one of the Knife River villages (see below). A small group of North West Co. traders from Canada also stayed here during the winter. The triangular-shaped stockade was burned down sometime after Lewis and Clark left the area in April 1805, as found on the return trip in August 1806. The actual fort site is now under the Missouri River about 14 miles west of town, which is about three miles southeast of the state park. The replica stockade was built in 1972. Of interest nearby is Fort Mandan Overlook SHS.

J. P. Tilton's Post
(1823 - 1826), Fort Clark
A Columbia Fur Company post erected by James Kipp one mile north of the future site of Fort Clark, just downstream from Lewis and Clark's old Fort Mandan (1), and named for its first trader. Due to hostilities with the Arikara, the post was dismantled in 1824. The logs from the palisades were floated across the river and the post was rebuilt within the Mandan villages for added security.

Fort Clark (State Historical Site)
(1831 - 1860), Fort Clark
An American Fur Co. post built by James Kipp, about 120 by 160 feet square. Ruins located two miles north of town, about eight miles down from the Knife River. The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1837-38 started here when the company steamboat St. Peter's stopped here, carrying at least three infected passengers who boarded at Council Bluffs, IA or Omaha, NE. The disease spread like wildfire among all the Upper Plains Indians over the next few years, killing over 17,200. Replaced in 1845 by Fort James (Berthold), but was kept open due to popular demand by the newly relocated Arikara Indians. Burned down in 1860, the company took over nearby Primeau's Post, about 300 yards upstream.

Charles Primeau's Post
(1850 - 1861), Fort Clark
Ruins of a fur trading post still exist, about 300 yards upstream from Fort Clark. Built by the Harvey, Primeau and Company of St. Louis, MO. Taken over by the American Fur Company in 1860 after Fort Clark burned down. Closed after an attack by Dakota Sioux in 1861.

Knife River Indian Villages (National Historic Site)
(1781 or 1782 - 1838 ?), near Stanton
A group of three Hidatsa villages (Big Hidatsa, Sakakawea, Amahami) at the mouth of the Knife River, and two Mandan villages on the Missouri River below the mouth of the Knife River. The two Mandan villages (Big White, aka Deapolis or Mitutanka, and Black Cat, aka Ruhptare) were fortified by palisades and bastions surrounded by a wide dry ditch. The Mandans had relocated here from sites further south along the Missouri River, due to a smallpox epidemic in 1781 among other Indian tribes.

René Jusseaume's House (Post)
(1794 - 1795, 1796 - 1797), near Stanton
A North West Co. stockaded trading post built on the west bank of the Missouri River just below the mouth of the Knife River, between the Mandan and Hidatsa villages. Also spelled Jusson or Gousseaume. The abandoned post was confiscated for Spain by explorer John Evans and renamed Fort Makay, and was occupied by him during the winter of 1796-97. Jusseaume had returned to the area by 1804, and was present at Fort Mandan during the winter encampment as a Mandan interpreter for Lewis and Clark.

Fort Manuel (1)
(1807), near Stanton
An early trading post built by Manuel Lisa just below the mouth of the Knife River near the Mandan villages.

Fort Manuel Lisa (2)
(1809 - 1812, 1822 - 1823), near Pick City
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post on Emanuel Creek, also called Fort Lisa, Fort Mandan (2), and Fort Lewis. It was built by Meriwether Lewis' brother Reuben. Abandoned after news arrived that war was declared with Great Britian.

The site, or close to it, was reoccupied in the summer 1822 by trader Joshua Pilcher, also of the St. Louis Missouri Fur Co., and called Fort (William) Vanderburgh. Abandoned the following spring. The actual site is now underwater (Lake Sakakawea).

Fort Stevenson (State Park)
(1867 - 1883), Garrison
Located at the mouth of Douglas Creek, this fort replaced the military post at Fort Berthold (2) and was originally called New Fort Berthold (3). The troops transferred to Fort Buford after the fort was closed. The post was then turned over to the Fort Berthold Indian Agency for use as a school until 1894. The fort site is now under the waters of Lake Sakakawea (since the 1950's). A non-exact replica guardhouse was built in 2002 as the new park visitors center/museum, located about two miles northeast of the original fort site. Admission fee.

Fort Berthold (1)
(1845 - 1862), near White Shield, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
An American Fur Co. post on the north bank of the Missouri River at Fishhook Bend, near the Hidatsa/Mandan village Like-A-Fishhook. Originally named Fort James, after builder James Kipp, until renamed in 1846 after either Bartholomew Berthold or his son Pierre. Burned by the Sioux in 1862, the post was transferred to Fort Atkinson nearby (below), which had been recently abandoned.

Fort Berthold (2)
(1858 - 1860, 1862 - 1874), near White Shield, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
Originally known as Fort Atkinson, a Frost, Todd and Company fur trade post built in the summer of 1858 on the north bank of the Missouri River at Fishhook Bend, southwest of town. Sold in the fall of 1858 to Clark, Primeau and Company, who abandoned the post in 1860 when unable to make enough money. The vacated site was then occupied by the American Fur Company in 1862 to replace their nearby Fort Berthold (1), and was renamed as such. Army troops built a log hutment camp outside the stockade during the winter of 1864-65. The post was sold to the Northwest Fur Company (Hawley, Hubbell and Company) in the spring of 1865. In June 1867 the military garrison moved to Fort Stevenson. In 1869 the Northwest Fur Co. was dissolved, and the post was transferred to the federal government to become the Indian Agency for the Arikara, Gros Ventre (Hidatsa), and Mandan tribes, and continued to function as a trading post until it was finally closed. The site is now underwater (Lake Sakakawea).

F.F. Gerard's Post
(1859), near White Shield, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
A small short-lived independent trade post was located at Like-A-Fishhook village at Fishhook Bend, roughly in between the two Fort Berthold sites.

Jefferson Smith's and Henry Boller's Post
(1860 - 1861), near White Shield, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
An independent trade post (in partnership with Charles Larpenteur and Robert Lemon) was located at Fishhook Bend in competition with Fort Berthold (1).

Camp Seclusion
(1855), Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
A temporary Army encampment located somewhere near the mouth of the Little Missouri River.

Dauphin House
(1830's), near Watford City
An American Fur Co. satellite post located at or near the confluence of the Little Missouri River and Cherry Creek. Built by one or several of the Dauphin brothers (Charles, Alexis, or Constant) or their cousin (Pierre). Pierre Papin wintered here during 1832-33.

Fort Kipp
(1825 or 1826 - 1827), near New Town
A Columbia Fur Co. 96-feet square trading post, also known as James Kipp's Post, located about one mile southeast of the mouth of the White Earth River. Built during the winter of 1825-26, probably in early 1826. Site now inundated by Lake Sakakawea (since the 1950's).

White Earth River Posts
(1827 - 1829, 1840's), near New Town
An American Fur Co. post was built by Kenneth McKenzie near the mouth of the White Earth River in 1827. Possibly the same site as Kipp's Post (above), or built very close to it. This was the area where McKenzie's party stopped for the winter (late 1827), unable to proceed to the Yellowstone River, and this post was most likely the post known as Fort Floyd (a) before Fort Union was later constructed in 1829. The White Earth River Post was then afterwards abandoned and burned down.

A second post was later built here by the American Fur Co., by Owen McKenzie (son of Kenneth) in the late 1840's, located on the north bank of the Missouri River just above the mouth of the White Earth River. McKenzie was in charge here by at least 1847.

Confluence Camp
(1805, 1806), near Buford
The Lewis and Clark Expedition made camp at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers in 1805, and again on the return trip in 1806.

Fort Henry (2)
(1822 - 1823, 1825), near Buford
A wintering post for Andrew Henry and William Ashley's trading expedition, located on the south bank of the Missouri River about one-quarter mile west of the mouth of the Yellowstone River. It was built in the summer of 1822, closed in September 1823, but was actually unoccupied for much of that time.

In 1825 General Henry Atkinson's expedition made a temporary camp, named Camp Barbour, located on the south bank of the Missouri River. They occupied the abandoned and partially burnt cabins of Fort Henry (2).

Fort Union Trading Post (2) (National Historic Site)
(1829 - 1867), Buford
Built in the fall of 1829 by Kenneth McKenzie of the American Fur Company, it was located about three miles past the mouth of the Yellowstone River, just inside the present-day state border with Montana. It was enclosed by a 20-foot high stockade with two blockhouses, enclosing almost 53,000 square feet of area. The steamboat Yellow Stone arrived here in June 1832, the first such boat to travel this far west, and the fort was in full operation by 1833. In the winter of 1864-65 the Army under General Alfred Sully moved in temporarily until Fort Buford was later built. At the same time, the American Fur Company had sold its interest in the fort to the Northwest Fur Company (aka Durfee and Peck Company) in June 1865, then they in turn sold it to the Army in the summer of 1867. The Army salvaged what they could for the construction of Fort Buford. This was the longest lasting active trading post in the continental United States. Became a state park in 1941. Became a National Park in 1966 with site excavations conducted afterward. Since 1985 several buildings have been reconstructed, including the stockade and stone bastions.

An American Fur Co. temporary wintering post was previously located here in the fall/winter of 1828-29. Historians disagree over what this post was called. Some have said it was known as Fort Floyd (b), others have said it was known as Fort Union (1).

Fort William (1)
(1833 - 1836), Buford
A Sublette and Campbell Co. trading post built 2.5 miles east of Fort Union at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Sold to the American Fur Co. in 1834, but kept in operation as an annex to Fort Union. When it was finally closed in 1836, the stockade was moved to within 150 yards of Fort Union and became a storage depot and livestock pen until demolished in the 1840's.

Fort Mortimer
(1842 - 1846), Buford
A Union Fur Company post, a competitor to the American Fur Company at Fort Union. Built about one-half mile east of the remains of Fort William (1). Four years later it was sold to the American Fur Co. and closed down, and was partially dismantled

Fort William (2)
(1846 - 1858), Buford
An adobe trading post built by Harvey, Primeau and Company, on the site of Fort Mortimer. Transferred to J. Picotte and Company in 1854. Sold again in 1856 to Frost, Todd and Company, who left to run Fort Stewart in Montana in 1858. Army troops salvaged remains of this post in 1866 for Fort Buford's construction.

Fort Buford (State Historical Site)
(1866 - 1895), Buford
Replaced the Army's garrison at Fort Union using some of the dismantled parts from that post and from Fort William (2). Rebuilt and enlarged in 1872. Chief Joseph surrendered here in 1877, and Sitting Bull surrendered here in 1881. Abandoned in 1895 for Fort Assiniboine in Montana. Became a state park in 1924. Two restored original buildings remain, the 1872 stone powder magazine and the 1871 Officers' quarters (aka Brotherton House), as well as the reconstructed barracks. Nearby is the new Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, which also serves as the fort visitor center and museum. Admission fee.

Cantonment at Sentinel Butte Station
(1880 - 1882), Sentinel Butte
A Federal camp at the Sentinel Buttes to protect the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Cantonment Bad Lands
(1879 - 1883), near Medora
A Federal camp on the west bank of the Little Missouri River to protect the Northern Pacific Railroad. Also known as Cantonment at Little Missouri Crossing.

Camp Houston
(1880), Dickinson
A temporary Army cavalry post to protect railroad construction crews.

Camp Sully
(Heart River Corral State Historic Site)
(1863 - 1864), near Richardton
One of General Alfred Sully's expedition encampments to put down the Sioux Uprising. Also known as Heart River Corral. Rifle pits still remain.

Fort Sauerkraut
(1890), Hebron
A civilian defense built on Cemetery Hill during the panic from the Ghost Dance Uprising on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. It consisted of a 100-yard elliptical earthen embankment with a defensive ditch, and a 100-foot long building in the center, with railroad ties supporting a sod roof. It was never attacked. Reconstructed in 2004 at 100 Washington Ave.. See also Fort Sauerkraut Defense from the North Dakota State University Spectrum

Fort Dilts (State Historical Site)
(1864), near Rhame
A makeshift sod-wall fort where a settlers' wagon train bound for Montana was attacked for 14 days (September 1864) by the Sioux until Army reinforcements arrived from Fort Rice. Trace remains.

Eastern North Dakota - page 1

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