Western South Dakota

Ancient Indian Fortress | Arikara Post (1) | Arikara Post (2) | Fort Bartlett | Fort Bennett (1)
Fort Bennett (2) | Black Hills Posts | Brulé Post (1) | Fort Buckingham | Camp Burt
Fort Cedar (3) | Cherry Creek Post | Camp Cheyenne | Post at Cheyenne River Agency
Fort Chouteau | Fort Pierre Chouteau | Camp Collier | Fort Collins | Camp Crook (1)
Camp Crook (2) | Camp Crook (3) | Camp Crook (4) | Custer Stockade | D'Eglise's Camp
Fort Defiance (2) | Forks of Cheyenne Post | French House (1) | Fort Galpin
Galpin's Camp | Galpin's Post | Fort George (1) | Fort George (2) | Gordon Stockade
Post at Grand River Agency | Camp Harney | Heney's Post | Hollywood Post
Juett's Post | Fort LaFramboise (1) | Fort LaFramboise (2) | LeClerc's Post (2)
Little Bend Trade Posts | Little Cheyenne Post | Fort Manuel (1) | Fort Meade
Moreau River Post | Camp at Mouth of Red Canyon | Oglala Post | Oncpapa Post
Papin House | Fort Pierre (1) | Fort Pierre (2) | New Fort Pierre | Fort Primeau
Camp Rains | Camp Rapid | Rapid City Blockhouse | Rapid City Stockade | Rapid Creek Post
Camp Reynolds | Post at Rosebud Agency | Camp Ruhlen | Sarpy's Post | Spearfish Stockade
Camp Stanton | Camp Sturgis | Sublette and Campbell's Post (2) | Camp Success
Fort Sully (1) | Fort Sully (2) | Tabeau's Post | Fort Tecumseh | Camp Terry | Fort Teton (1)
Fort Teton (2) | Teton Post | Truteau's Camp | Fort Union | Vallé's Post | Camp Warren (1)
Camp Warren (2) | White River Post (a) | White River Post (b) | Camp Whittelsey

Eastern South Dakota - page 1



Last Update: 04/AUGUST/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2019 American Forts Network

Fort Manuel (Lisa) (1)
(1812 - 1813), near Kenel
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. trading post located on the west bank of the Missouri River just above the mouth of Hunkpapa Creek, about 12 miles north of the Arikara villages. Also known as Arikara Post (1). Sakakawea (or Sacagawea, Sacajawea) died here in December 1812. Her monument is near Mobridge. The post was abandoned in March 1813 after attacks by British-allied Sioux Indians and the deaths of 15 of the traders, then was burned down. Lisa then moved his trading operations downstream to the "Big Bend" of the Missouri River (near Lower Brule). Actual site is now underwater. A reconstruction was built in the 1930's by the C.C.C., but was later found to be in the inundation zone of the new Oahe Reservoir, and was razed by 1953. A new reconstruction was built in 2000.

Post at Grand River Indian Agency
(1870 - 1875), near Wakpala
A Federal post at the Missouri and Grand Rivers. Periodic flooding forced the transfer of the Indian Agency and the garrison to Fort Yates in North Dakota. The site is now underwater (Lake Oahe).

Spanish Trading Post
(1794 or 1795), near Mobridge
An unnamed Spanish-flagged post is shown on a 1795 Spanish map, near the mouth of the Grand River at the Arikara Indian villages (which were actually about four miles further up the Missouri River). It could indicate the presence of St. Louis trader Jean Baptiste Truteau's Camp in the spring of 1795, or the presence of St. Louis trader Jacques D'Eglise's Camp in the fall of 1794. Although a simple log cabin or hut may have been built by either trader, no "fort" was ever constructed here despite the Spanish government's intentions.

During the 1790's there were several known Arikara village sites further south between present-day Potter and Dewey Counties. Lewis and Clark, in October 1804, mentioned passing a recently abandoned Arikara village on "Dolphees Island".

Arikara Post (2)
(c. 1820), near Mobridge
The Berthold and Chouteau company operated a trade post among the Arikara Indians in the early 1820's, run by a trader named Citoleux. Probably located at or near one or the other of the two known Arikara villages at the time, located along the west bank of the Missouri River about four miles above the mouth of the Grand River. The Arikara were reported to be still living there in 1823, but by the mid 1830's they had relocated northward into North Dakota.

Pierre Antoine Tabeau's Post
(1803 - 1805), near Mobridge
A fur trading post (under St. Louis trader Régis Loisel) located at the Arikara's third village, on a three-mile long island at the mouth of the Grand River, just north of town in present Campbell County. Tabeau actually ran his operations from inside one of the Arikara earth lodges. Lewis and Clark stopped here in October 1804. Tabeau abandoned the post the following spring, returning to St. Louis with the Lewis and Clark Expedition's spring return of letters and collected specimens. The island was abandoned by the Arikaras sometime between 1806 to 1811. The site of the island village is now underwater (Lake Oahe).

Moreau River Post
(1830 - 1856 ?), Dewey County
An American Fur Co. trading post, an outpost of Fort Tecumseh, located just north of the mouth of the Moreau River. Frederick Laboue operated the post in 1830, which may have also been known as Oncpapa Post. Charles Galpin operated the post in 1854.

Little Cheyenne Post
(1830 - unknown), Potter County
An American Fur Co. wintering post, an outpost of Fort Tecumseh, located at or near the mouth of the Little Cheyenne River. Trader J. Holiday was here in 1830. Located near the West Whitlock State Recreation Area, 18 miles west of Gettysburg.

Jon (Jean) Vallé's Post
(1803 ? - 1804), Dewey County
A wintering post located above the mouth of the Cheyenne River, on the north side of the "Little Bend" of the Missouri River. Vallé, an independent St. Louis trader, was here when Lewis and Clark passed through the area in October 1804 on their way west. Vallé had been trapping "300 leagues" up the Cheyenne River in the Black Hills region during the summer and fall of 1803, and may have possibly wintered there before moving back to the Missouri River in the spring or summer of 1804.

Hugh Heney's Post
(1802 - 1803), near Mission Ridge
The former North West Co. trader became trade partners with Régis Loisel from St. Louis in 1801. After Loisel established his winter post on Cedar Island (Loisel's Post (1)) (see also), Heney continued upstream to establish his satellite post somewhere near the confluence of the Missouri and Cheyenne Rivers. Heney returned to Canada and his former employer by 1804, and was visiting Fort Mandan, North Dakota, when Lewis and Clark were there during the winter of 1804-05.

Little Bend Trade Posts
(1830's, 1840's), near Mission Ridge
The area around the mouth of the Cheyenne River was supposedly the site of several competing trading posts. In the early 1830's William Laidlaw ran a post for the American Fur Co. on the Cheyenne River, probably near its mouth. In 1843 Bernard Pratte Jr. and John Cabanné Jr. operated a post on the Missouri River at the Little Bend, near the mouth of the Cheyenne River. In late 1843, Pierre Chouteau Jr. and Co., as well as the Union Fur Co., also built posts in the vicinity.

In 1843 the site of an abandoned former trade post ("Old" Fort George (1)) was reported by a passing steamboat (the Omega) to be located on the Missouri River just below the mouth of the Cheyenne River.

Fort Bennett (2)
(1870 - 1891), near Mission Ridge
A Federal semi-stockaded post once located across the Missouri River and seven miles upriver from the Fort Sully (2) site, near Agency Creek. It was originally Post at Cheyenne (River) Indian Agency until 1878. The post was moved three times due to river flooding, each site within 300 yards of each other. Some foundational remnants are visible during periods of low water in the Oahe Reservoir.

Fort Sully (2)
(Fort Sully Game Refuge)
(1866 - 1894), Sully County
The garrison of Fort Sully (1) was moved in 1866 to a new location about 20 miles below the mouth of the Cheyenne River on the north side of Fort Sully Creek, now within the present-day Fort Sully Game Refuge. A stone monument was placed at the site in 1929, but was relocated to the Sully County Courthouse in Onida in 1962. The post was originally stockaded, but soon expanded beyond. The actual fort site was inundated by Lake Oahe in 1968. The Oahe Dam was built beginning in 1948, completed in 1964. The former post hospital still existed into the 1980's, repurposed as a granary on a private ranch in the Okobojo Creek valley (no longer standing).

Fort Cedar (3)
(1856), Sully County
An Army post located 28 miles north of Pierre on the east bank of the Missouri River.

Fort (Charles) Primeau
(1862 ?), near Fort Pierre
A temporary trading post operated by La Barge, Harkness and Co. during the early 1860's. Located one mile north of the Oahe Dam in Stanley County, the site is now underwater.

Fort (Frank) LaFramboise (2)
(1862 - 1863), near Fort Pierre
A short-lived trading post operated by La Barge, Harkness and Co. in competition with Fort Pierre (2). Military supplies were stored here in 1863. The site is on the western side of the Oahe Dam, about three miles north of Fort Pierre (2).

Fort Galpin
(1857 - 1859), Fort Pierre
An American Fur Co. 125-foot square stockaded post located about three miles above Fort Pierre (1). Also called Galpin's Post. Replaced by Fort Pierre (2).

Charles Galpin previously had a temporary trading camp (Galpin's Camp) located 14 miles northwest of here near Chantier Creek, used in the winters of 1855-56 and 1856-57 after Fort Pierre (1) was sold to the U.S. Army. The American Fur Company's Navy Yard ("Chantier"), a major boat yard and lumber yard, was located at and just below the mouth of Chantier Creek, along the upper end of the "Peoria Bottom", about 18 miles (by water) upriver from Fort Pierre (1). It was in operation well before 1830, and timber cut here was used for the construction of Fort Pierre (1) in 1831. It continued in use until the mid 1860's. U.S. Army troops under Gen. William Harney's command encamped in several locations along Peoria Bottom during the winter of 1855-56.

Fort Pierre (2)
(1859 - 1863), Fort Pierre
An American Fur Co. trading post that replaced Fort Galpin, located one-half mile below the latter fort. Also called New Fort Pierre. Site is not marked. Charles Galpin continued to run the post, but left the company in 1862. In 1863 the post was moved to Farm Island close to the Army's Fort Sully (1) before it was closed for good.

Fort Pierre (1)
(Fort Chouteau Park)
(1831 - 1857), Fort Pierre
A Bernard Pratt and Co. stockaded fur trade post located on the west side of the Missouri River about three miles above the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River, and about two miles above Fort Tecumseh, originally (and officially) called Fort Pierre Chouteau or simply Fort Chouteau, and built to replace Fort Tecumseh. It was completed in 1833, the stockade enclosing over 100,000 square feet. Practical usage among traders soon shortened the name to "Fort Pierre". The Army purchased the fort in 1855 and renamed it Fort Bennett (1). It was soon abandoned, and some materials were salvaged for the construction of Fort Randall downriver. This was the state's first permanent white settlement. A stone monument was erected in 1930, and the park was later developed around it, located north of town on Fort Chouteau Road, off of SD 1806. Artifacts from the fort are on display at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center at 900 Governors Drive in Pierre.

A 1933 monument nearby commemorates French explorer Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye, where in March 1743 he buried an inscribed lead plate to claim the region for France. It was found in 1913. This site was once designated a National Monument until 1956.

Fort Tecumseh
(1822 - 1832), Fort Pierre
In 1822 the Columbia Fur Co. built this post on the west bank of the Missouri River about one and one-half miles upstream of the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River. It was sold to the American Fur Co. in 1827 but continued operating until Fort Pierre (1) took over regional operations in late 1832. Site is on US 83 about 300 yards south of the junction with US 14 West.

William Sublette and Robert Campbell built a post or trading house (Sublette and Campbell's Post (2)) adjacent to (south of) the Fort Tecumseh site in 1833 to compete with Fort Pierre (1). It was sold to the American Fur Company in 1834 and closed.

Narcisse LeClerc's Trading Post (2)
(1830's), near Fort Pierre
An independent (Northwest Fur Company) fur trade post located on the Missouri River near the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River. Exact location unknown.

Fort (Joseph) LaFramboise (1)
(1817 - 1820), Fort Pierre
A fortified trading post on the north side of the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River, about one mile below Fort Tecumseh. Also known as Fort Teton (1). It was abandoned in 1820 due to constant river flooding. NOTE: the Bad River was originally known to early mapmakers as the Little Missouri River before it became known as the Teton River, and then finally as the Bad River.

Fort Teton (2)
(1828 - 1830), Fort Pierre
A trading post operated by Pierre D. Papin and Co., also known as Papin House, French House (1), or Teton Post, located on the west bank of the Missouri River just below the mouth of the Bad (Teton) River, about two miles south of Fort Tecumseh. Taken over by the American Fur Co. in 1830 which moved its operations to Fort Tecumseh.

Fort Sully (1)
(Farm Island State Recreation Area)
(1863 - 1866), near Pierre
A Federal stockaded fort previously named Fort Bartlett until 1864. The original site is at the park's visitor center (Lewis and Clark Family Center) (admission fee), marked by a small stone monument. A state marker is located on SD 34 south of the park. The garrison was moved in 1866 to a new location 25 miles northwest of Pierre near Lake Oahe, due to unhealthful conditions (see Fort Sully (2) above).

The American Fur Company's Fort Pierre (2) (see above) was also relocated here in 1863.

Ancient Indian Fortress
(c. 1450), near Pierre
On the bluff, a quarter of a mile north, ancient Indians, pre-dating the Arikara, built a fortress or strong point involving an exterior perimeter of over 2,000 yards, enclosing about 50 acres, and with bastions, at intervals all along its palisaded wall, to provide enfilading arrow fire along its walls. In front of this was a deep dry moat. Within these palisades were many square or oblong type Indian houses. A valley in its center contained an abundance of water. Five thousand people could have been sheltered within its walls and it would have taken not less than 300 resolute warriors to defend it. Archaeologists date it back to the time of Columbus or earlier and the probability of the influence of white military design appears remote. These bastions, watch guard fire points, and moats are still to be seen. The Arikara were living in this area when French explorer Vérendrye came through in 1743, and probably well into the 1780's. State marker (1955) located on SD 34 about six miles east of the city.

Fort George (2)
(1842 - 1845), near Canning
A stockaded fur trade post with two blockhouses, operated by Fox, Livingston and Co. (aka the Union Fur Co.) under trader Charles Kelsey. Located about 20 miles below Fort Pierre (1), just north of the mouth of Fort George Creek. The Union Fur Co. was notorious for (illegally) freely dispensing alcohol among the Indians. Indians hired by rival traders burned the post down soon after it was sold to Pierre Chouteau and Co. in the spring of 1845.

White River Post (a)
(1830 - unknown), near White River
An American Fur Co. trading post located at the mouth of the Little White River. Also called Brulé Post (1). It was a subpost of Fort Tecumseh. Pierre D. Papin was in charge here in 1831.

Post at Rosebud Indian Agency
(1878 - 1891), Rosebud
The Spotted Tail Indian Agency was relocated here from Nebraska and renamed. Brulé Sioux Chief Spotted Tail was killed here by another Indian in 1881, and is buried in the post cemetery. Rifle pits (1890) still remain on Soldier Hill.

Hollywood Post
(1830 - unknown), Haakon County ? or Jones County ?
An American Fur Co. trading post, a subpost of Fort Tecumseh, located on the Bad (Teton) River, about two days' journey (during the winter) from Fort Tecumseh. Exact location undetermined, most likely somewhere between Midland and Van Metre.

Cherry Creek Post
(1829 - 1866), Cherry Creek
An American Fur Co. trading post, a subpost of Fort Tecumseh, located about five miles upstream from town. It was burned down by Indians in 1866.

Forks of Cheyenne Post
(1828 - 1843), near Elm Springs
An American Fur Co. trading post at or near the north side (?) of the Forks of the Cheyenne River, several miles northeast of town. Operated by Colin Campbell. The exact site is unknown.

Camp Cheyenne
(1890 - 1891), near Elm Springs
Located at the Forks of the Cheyenne River. This was the Army's base of operations during the Sioux Ghost Dance Uprising.

Joseph Juett's Post
(1831 - 1832), unknown location
A temporary American Fur Co. winter post located somewhere on the Cheyenne River, at the Cheyenne tribe's winter camp. It lasted only one season. Possibly the same as Sarpy's Post (below), as Juett was reported to be at the Oglala Post in 1832. Juett was later known to be at the Forks of Cheyenne Post (above) several years later.

Thomas L. Sarpy's Post
(1830 - 1832, 1890), Creston (Link)
An American Fur Co. trading post, also known as Rapid Creek Post and Oglala Post, at the mouth of Rapid Creek on the Cheyenne River. In February 1832 part of the post was destroyed in an accident involving a candle and a barrel of gunpowder, also killing Sarpy in the process. The ruins were noted in 1857. The U.S. 6th Cavalry later occupied the site during the Sioux Ghost Dance Uprising in 1890. Located about 10 miles east of Farmingdale along SD 44, the general location is marked by a roadside concrete dinosaur sculpture.
(additional info provided by Watson Parker of the Council on America's Military Past)

White River Post (b)
(1830 ?), near Sharps Corner
According to local tradition, a trade post of some kind was supposedly located on the White River at or near the mouth of Wounded Knee Creek, north of town.

Fort Buckingham
(1890 - 1892), near Hermosa
A civilian fort located northeast of town near Rocky Knob. It was built during the Ghost Dance uprisings.

Nearby was the Army's Camp Stanton, built during the same time period. Both sites still remain.
(info provided by Watson Parker of the Council on America's Military Past)

Camp Rapid
(1925 - present), Rapid City
The current headquarters post of the SD National Guard, located north of town on US 14. Originally a summer training camp, it was Federalized in 1941 for WWII training. Used by the Army Air Corps from 1942 - 1943 until returned to state control.

Fort Meade (Veterans Administration)
(Fort Meade Museum)
(Regional Training Institute - South Dakota Army National Guard)
(Fort Meade Recreation Area - BLM)
(1878 - 1944), Fort Meade
Built to defend the gold-mining camps of the Black Hills against the Lakota, and to restore peace, if necessary, on the Indian reservations to the east. Originally called Camp Ruhlen and located on the western side of Bear Butte. Later moved to its present location and renamed Camp Sturgis, then renamed again later that same year (1878). A marker for Camp Sturgis is located on SD 79 about five miles northeast of Fort Meade. This was the primary military post for actions in the "Ghost Dance War" of 1890 which culminated in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Retained by the Army because of its location on the railroad and with good routes to reservations when most forts in South Dakota were closed in the 1890's. Used for training and as a POW camp in WWII. The Veterans Administration aquired the site in 1944 to use as a hospital, and a large permanent, modern hospital was built north of the main part of the post, preserving the historic portions of the post, including construction from the WWI and WWII era. Virtually all of the 1880's Officers' quarters and barracks remain in their original setting. The lone survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn, a horse named Commanche, was retired here. The Old Fort Meade Museum is located in the former Post Headquarters building (admission fee). In the 1980's, the South Dakota Army National Guard established its leadership institute, the South Dakota Military Academy, on the old post (now the Regional Training Institute). At the south end of the original military reservation (managed by the BLM) is located the Black Hills National Cemetery, just off I-90; the old post cemetery, now closed for burials, is the Fort Meade National Cemetery.
(information provided by Nathan A. Barton, CE, PE, DEE, member of South Dakota State Historical Society and Council on America's Military Past)

Black Hills Posts
(1857 - 1859, 1874 - 1877, intermittent), various locations
Several temporary fortifications and camps were located throughout the Black Hills area through the years. Exploratory camps Camp Warren (1) (1857) was located southeast of Newcastle, WY, near the present-day LAK Ranch. Camp Warren (2) (1857) was located north of Rapid City on Box Elder Creek. Camp Reynolds (1859) was located near Sturgis on Bear Butte Creek near Bear Butte State Park.

During the Gold Rush of 1874-75, the civilian Gordon Stockade (aka Fort Defiance (2)) was located near Custer. The miners, led by John Gordon, were holed up against the Indians and the Federal Army. The U.S. Army was sent to remove the miners, and established Camp Success (1875) on French Creek near Blue Bell. They captured the miners and their stockade, and renamed it Camp Harney or Fort Union. A modern replica of the fort is now on site, maintained by Custer State Park. Camp Collins (1875 - 1876) was also later built at Custer by the Army. The Log Cabin Museum in Way City Park on Main Street in Custer is said to have been the Army's headquarters at Camp Collins.

The 1875 Black Hills Scientific Expedition built Camp Burt on Spring Creek, Camp Terry north of Custer Peak, as well as several camps in Wyoming (see also).

During troubles with the Indians in 1876, the towns of Rapid City, Spearfish, and Custer were enclosed by stockades. The Rapid City Blockhouse was also built at this time and was located at the present intersection of 5th and Rapid Streets. It was two-storys and 30 feet square. The 1876 Crook Expedition built several camps in the region. Camp Crook (1) was located near Whitewood (Crook), Camp Crook (2) was located at Pactola Lake, Camp Crook (3) was located on French Creek at Custer, and Camp Crook (4) was located at Point-of-Rocks near Pringle.
(info provided by Watson Parker of the Council on America's Military Past)

Camp Collier
(1876 - 1877), near Edgemont
Also known as Camp at the Mouth of Red Canyon, a subpost of Fort Laramie, WY. A Federal palisaded 125-foot square post with two blockhouses, located at the mouth of Red Canyon at the Cheyenne River to protect the Cheyenne-Black Hills stage line. When it was abandoned after one full year's use, all supplies and equipment were transferred to Camp Hat Creek in Wyoming. Trace remains can still be found on private property, about five miles north of town.
(info provided by Watson Parker of the Council on America's Military Past)

Camp Rains
(1874, 1877 - 1879), Shannon County
An Army encampment near the Spotted Tail Indian Agency, originally located three miles west of the mouth of Beaver Creek. The Indian Agency was moved in 1879 to Rosebud (see above).

NEED MORE INFO: In 1890-92 a chain of military posts was located between Rapid City and Oelrichs during the Indian Ghost Dance uprisings (the Pine Ridge Campaign), names and locations undetermined at this time.
Camp Whittelsey (1867) at Larren's Fork (location ?).
Towns: Camp Crook, Harding County.

Eastern South Dakota - page 1

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