Part 5: In a Nutshell

  • Tensions between settlers and Dakota Indians resulted in over 300 deaths in Minnesota in 1862.
  • Many people of the Dakota Nation moved to North Dakota to get away from the trouble in Minnesota.
  • General Sibley and General Sully were sent by the U.S. government to round up Dakota Indians in North Dakota.
  • General Sibley’s troops fought with Dakota warriors at the Battle of Big Mound near Dawson and the Battle of Stony Lake near Driscoll.
  • Many Dakota women and children drowned in the Missouri River while trying to get away from Sibley’s army.
  • General Sully’s troops killed from 150 to 200 Dakota people at Whitestone Hill, including women and children. It was one of the bloodiest conflicts ever fought in North Dakota.
  • General Sully’s troops fought with Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota warriors at the Battle of Killdeer Mountains and the Battle of the Badlands.
  • Captain James Fisk and about 200 settlers and gold seekers built the sod-walled Fort Dilts in southwestern North Dakota in 1864.
  • Teenager Fanny Kelly spent five months as a captive of Lakota warriors before writing secret messages which led to her freedom.
  • A chain of army forts was set up in North Dakota between 1858 and 1878 to provide protection and keep peace.
  • Fort Abercrombie, built on the Red River near Wahpeton, was the first army fort in North Dakota.
  • Women at Fort Abercrombie helped save the fort by providing the soldiers with pellets to use as bullets.
  • Fort Rice was the first army post located on the Missouri River.
  • Linda Slaughter, who worked with her doctor husband at Fort Rice, helped establish the city of Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Fort Ransom, about 30 miles south of Valley City, closed after five years, and its lumber was used to build Fort Seward at Jamestown.
  • Fort Totten, near Devils Lake, later served as a boarding school for Indian children.
  • Fort Buford, built from the lumber of abandoned Fort Union, was the farthest west fort in North Dakota.
  • The site of Fort Stevenson is now under the waters of Lake Sakakawea.
  • Fort Pembina, on the Red River in northeastern North Dakota, was open for 25 years.
  • The name of Fort McKeen, an infantry post, was changed to Fort Abraham Lincoln when cavalry was added.
  • Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer commanded the 7th Cavalry at Fort Abraham Lincoln.
  • Custer and the 7th Cavalry were wiped out at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana in 1876.
  • Elizabeth (Libby) Custer spent 57 years trying to convince people that her husband was a hero.
  • Fort Yates, located on the Missouri River near the South Dakota border, was turned over to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
  • Army leaders were called “officers,” and men who signed up for a job were called “enlisted men.”
  • The uniforms of each branch of the army were decorated with different colors and symbols.
  • Laundresses, who lived on Suds Row at the forts, did the soldiers’ laundry.
  • The lives of American Indians were severely impacted by the westward movement of Euro-Americans.