Camp Grant, located six miles northwest of Woodworth, Stutsman County, commemorates the July 23, 1863, campsite used by the Sibley expedition.
After leaving about one-third of their forces behind at Camp Atchison, the column headed by General Sibley rapidly moved toward the Missouri River, where alleged participants of the Dakota Conflict of 1862 were reportedly headed (see Camp Atchison). The army marched southwest, ascending the eastern slope of the Missouri Coteau, which was “very rough and rolling” comprising some of “the most broken and hilly country” yet crossed, and arrived at the campsite about noon.
Within three hours, Camp Grant, named for Hiram Perry Grant, Captain of Company A, Sixth Minnesota Infantry, was established by “a small, muddy, stinking pond filled with rushes of tremendous size . . .” The men were allowed to hunt wild geese and ducks, and they brought a large number of waterfowl into camp that night. A fresh water spring discovered in a ravine east of the camp furnished unusually clean water. Details were assigned to gather buffalo chips to burn as cooking fuel. Each detailed man “would take three or four ramrods” and search the prairie for chips, string them on the rods until each was full and deposit the collected strings at the camp’s cooking area.
During the evening, a disturbance beyond the outer picket line roused the camp. Some of the men gathering buffalo chips had lingered out beyond the guard lines until it was too dark to be assigned other camp duties. To end this malingering, the pickets (guards) were ordered to prevent any latecomers from entering the camp. The stragglers “set up a howling for the Corporal of the Guard,” but they “were left to howl and without their supper until well after midnight,” permanently ending that ploy during this campaign.
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