Great Plains, 1880-1920
settlement of the northern Great Plains increased, United States military
presence also increased to protect settlers. With the establishment
of the Dakota Territory in 1861, trespassing on traditional Native
American land continued and the establishment of military forts increased.
Between 1862 and 1872, the army built eight forts to protect the settlers
and people traveling west, to protect the workers building the railroads,
and to control the Native Americans, primarily the Dakota.
In 1876, from Fort Abraham Lincoln (five miles south of present day
Mandan, North Dakota) on the banks of the Missouri, Colonel George
A. Custer lead the pursuit of Sitting Bull which ended with the Battle
of Little Big Horn. The increased presence of, and harassment by,
the military, coupled with an endless string of broken treaties with
the Native Americans, led to the military defeat of Native Americans
and to their confinement on reservations.
Previous | Next
Return to North Dakota Historical
Photographs from the Fred Hultstrand and F.A. Pazandak