Fort Atkinson (3)
Fort Atkinson (3) (1840-1849) - A U.S. Army post established in 1840 as Camp Atkinson (1) by Captain Isaac Lynde (Cullum 501), 5th U.S. Infantry, in present day Fort Atkinson in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Named for Colonel Henry Atkinson, 6th U.S. Infantry, department commander. The post was designated Fort Atkinson in 1841. Abandoned in 1849.
Camp Atkinson was established on 31 May 1840 by Captain Isaac Lynde, 5th U.S. Infantry on a high bluff overlooking the west bank of the Turkey River. The Fort's mission was to protect the nearby Winnebago Indian Reservation and speed the movement of the Winnebago to the reservation.
Construction materials had to be hauled in from Prairie du Chien some 50 miles away. The stone used to construct many of the major buildings was quarried from the side of the bluff just a short distance from the western edge of the post. When completed in 1842 the post had some 24 buildings inside a stockade wall and 14 outside.
The plan of the post was centered around a large central parade with two sets of officer's quarters on the east and west sides and two sets of enlisted barracks one on the north and one on the south side. At the southwest and northeast corners stood strong stone blockhouses with rifle slits and cannon ports that provided forward and flanking fire to protect the stockade walls. At the southeast corner was a strong rock-walled powder magazine. The fort had four cannons in place, two mountain howitzers, and two "6 pounders" cannons.
The infantry garrison was supplemented by a company of Dragoons on 24 Jun 1841 and later by volunteer troops during the Mexican War (1846-1848).
The fort was abandoned on 24 Feb 1849 when the Winnebago were moved to a new reservation in Minnesota. The buildings were sold at public auction in 1853 and the reservation was transferred to the Interior Department in 1860.
The State of Iowa acquired a part of the old military reservation including the fort site in 1921 and that was dedicated as a State Preserve in 1968. The preserved portion of the fort includes reconstructed structures, now Fort Atkinson State Preserve, Winneshiek County, Iowa.
Visited: 8 Jul 2021