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Fort Abercrombie (1857-1877) - Established on 28 Aug 1858 by Lt. Colonel John J. Abercrombie of the 2nd U.S. Infantry after whom the fort is named. Initially designed to protect settlers in the Red River Valley from Sioux Indians, Fort Abercrombie later served as a hub for several major transportation routes through the northern plains. Abandoned in 1877.
Fort Abercrombie History
The original fort was built within a flood plain and was evacuated on 25 Jul 1859, reoccupied in Jul 1860 and rebuilt on a high west bank of the Red River. Regular troops were withdrawn during the U.S. Civil War and the post was garrisoned with Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.
Fort Abercrombie was besieged for more than six weeks during the Sioux War of 1862 and it was after the siege that the blockhouses and the palisade were built. The post served as a hub for several major transportation routes through the northern plains until it was abandoned in 1877. The fort buildings were sold and removed from the site.
A Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1939-1940 reconstructed three blockhouses and the stockade and returned the original military guardhouse to the site. Beginning in the summer of 2001, a project to refurbish major portions of the WPA project and to reinterpret the site was initiated by the state historical society.
Part of the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site operated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The fort site includes two replica blockhouses (a third one was taken down because of river erosion), a restored original guardhouse building and a partial replica stockade. Other missing post buildings sites are outlined with in-ground posts at the angles and filled with uncut prairie grass. Abundant interpretive panels adjacent to the building sites and in the blockhouses. Excellent Visitor Center/Museum.
Location: 612 East Blvd Ave, Bismarck, Richland County, ND 58505-0830
Maps & Images
Lat: 46.445132 Long: -96.718225
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 109
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 112
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 627
- North American Forts - Fort Abercrombie
- State Historical Society - Fort Abercrombie
- Wikipedia - Fort Abercrombie
- Friends of Fort Abercrombie
Visited: 11 Sep 2013
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