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Press Release - 150th Commemoration of the Siege at Fort Abercrombie

Contact: August 15, 2012
Contact: Thomas Casler

150th Commemoration of the Siege at Fort Abercrombie to be held September 1

ABERCROMBIE – Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site near Fargo and Wahpeton will feature programs during the 150th Commemoration of the Siege at Fort Abercrombie on Saturday, September 1, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. In 1862 the post was besieged by Dakota (Sioux) warriors for almost six weeks during the conflict that erupted in Minnesota between the Dakota people and the United States. The post was manned by Minnesota Volunteer soldiers when area settlers sought shelter there.

Special tours of the fort featuring living history characters will be provided to visitors at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Following is a schedule of additional Sept. 1 events:

  • 11:00 a.m. – “The 1862 US-Dakota War: Realities and Repercussions” presentation by Richard Rothaus, Ph.D., president of Trefoil Cultural and Environmental
  • 1:00 p.m. – “A Dakota Perspective of 1862” presentation by Tamara St. John, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate
  • 3:00 p.m. – “Dakota scouts in the US Army in 1862” presentation by Tamara St. John, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate
  • 5:00 p.m. – “The Northern Valley and the Evacuation of Georgetown” by Markus Krueger, Visitor Services coordinator of Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County

The fort, known as “The Gateway to the Dakotas,” is located 37 miles south of Fargo and 15 miles north of Wahpeton. The site is managed by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota. It was the first permanent US Army fort established in what is now North Dakota. As the crossroads of several major transportation routes throughout the Northern Plains until its abandonment, it guarded fur-trade oxcart trails, wagon trains, stagecoach routes, and steamboat traffic on the Red River. It was also a supply base for wagon trains headed west to the Montana gold fields, military freight, and pioneer settlers headed into Dakota Territory.

For a calendar of 2012 state historic site programs, contact the State Historical Society of North Dakota at 701.328.2666 or visit

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