Fort Pierre (2)
After the U.S. Government purchase of the original Fort Pierre on 14 Apr 1855, Charles Galpin who was in charge of that post then established his own post Fort Galpin some 14 miles northwest of Pierre. This location proved unsatisfactory and in 1858 he began construction of a new Fort Pierre just one and seven-eighths miles north of the old Fort Pierre. This location was described as "...some 20 rods or so south of the southern end of the so-called Seven-miles Timber, and opposite the lower end of an island at that point in the Missouri River."
The new Fort Pierre was modeled after the old fort plan but on a smaller scale. The stockade was about 125 feet on a side with bastions on the northwest and southeast corners. The front gate was on the east side nearer to the southeast corner.
The new post was considered dangerous because of conflicts between friendly and hostile tribes. The killing of Chief Bear's Rib in June 1862 sealed the fate of the post. Chief Bear's Rib was killed by the hostile Indians just outside the gate of New Fort Pierre. He was the chief of all the local Indians and friendly toward the traders. When he was shot all the hostile Indians crowded into the fort fearing revenge by followers of Chief Bear's Rib. The fort gate was closed and a standoff began. The situation was defused when the Fort manager who was then Charles Primeau offered to pay the son of the chief some horses in compensation for the Chief's death.
Without the support of the Chief, the fort became the target of hostile groups and Primeau sought the protection of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army would only provide protection if the traders would move close to Fort Sully on the east side of the river but they did provide a company of soldiers until the post could be moved. In 1863 the post was moved to Farm Island a mile west of Fort Sully and four miles east of Pierre.
Visited: 2 Jul 2020 Area