Fort Stevenson (1867-1883) - Established 14 Jun 1867 by Major Joseph N.G. Whistler (Cullum 1318) of the 31st U.S. Infantry with troops from Fort Berthold and named for Brigadier General Thomas G. Stevenson who was killed at the battle of Spotsylvania, 10 May 1864. Fort Stevenson served as a supply base for Fort Totten (1), protected navigation along the Missouri River and helped manage the Indian populations. Abandoned in 1883. Also known as New Fort Berthold.
Fort Stevenson History
The fort itself was never directly attacked, although war parties were sighted, and work crews occasionally engaged in skirmishes. Of far greater danger were the fierce winters on the northern plains. Temperatures of 40 below or less were recorded; snow piled above the crude windows; and all communication with the outside world shut down as the weather halted supply trains, mail delivery and river traffic. An exceptional account of life on the Missouri can be found in the journals of Philippe Regis de Trobriand, who commanded the fort from 1867 until 1870.
Fort Stevenson was abandoned 22 Jul 1883 but a small detachment remained until 31 Aug 1883 to dismantle the fort and dispose of public property. The garrison was transferred to Fort Buford and the fort was turned over to the Fort Berthold Indian Agency 7 Aug 1883. The Interior Department took possession of the fort 14 Nov 1894.
The original fort site is under the waters of Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri River. A replica Fort Stevenson guardhouse displays the sallyport and serves as a visitor center and museum.
Location: Under the waters of Lake Sakakawea on the what was the north bank of the Missouri River between Douglas and Garrison creeks, about two miles southwest of the present park site in McLean County.
Maps & Images
Lat: 47.581158 Long: -101.503887
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 116
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 114
- 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
Visited: 17 Sep 2013
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