Fort Dakota (1865-1869) - Established in 5 May 1865 by Capt. Daniel F. Eicher, 6th Iowa Cavalry as Fort Brookings and later renamed Fort Dakota. The post location was chosen by Ltc. John Patee under the orders of BG Alfred Sully. Abandoned in 1869.
Fort Dakota History
Fort Dakota was established on the west bank of the Big Sioux River in present day Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota.
The post was built during the 1862 Sioux Indian Uprising to protect the settlers and guard the Sioux Country border. On 25 Aug 1862 two prominent settlers were killed at Sioux Falls in the Dakota Territory by hostile Sioux Indians. These killings caused the remaining settlers and a cavalry detachment to abandon the area and retreat to the territorial capital at Yankton. The fort was established as Fort Brookings on 5 May 1865 by Capt. Daniel F. Eicher, 6th Iowa Cavalry. Construction materials arrived from Sioux City in 48 oxen drawn wagons.
After the end of the U.S. Civil War, regular U.S. Army troops were sent to relieve the Iowa volunteer troops. On 8 Jun 1866, Company "D", 13th U.S. Infantry relieved Company "M" of the 7th Iowa Cavalry, garrisoned the post and renamed it Fort Dakota. Only four buildings had been built by the volunteers, two barracks, a stone commissary and a stable. Col. Kilburn Knox, the new commander, improved and enlarged the post to some 18 buildings including a round, 15 foot high stone tower, thirty feet in diameter that mounted two 12 pounder mountain howitzers.
The fort was abandoned 18 Jun 1869 after the hostilities had ceased and the reservation had been transferred to the Interior Department. The men and materials were removed to Fort Randall.
Only a marker and a plaque remain.
Location: Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota.
Maps & Images
Lat: 43.548844 Long: -96.727393
- 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 728
- Barnes, Jeff, Forts of the Northern Plains - Guide to Historic Military Posts of the Plains Indian Wars, Copyright 2008, Stackpole Books, ISBN-13: 978-0-8117-3496-7, ISBN-10: 0-8117-3496-X, page 144-145
Visited: 25 Sep 2010
Fort Dakota Picture Gallery
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