Fort Pembina (1)

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Fort Pembina (1) (1870-1895) - A U.S. Army Fort established in 1870 as Fort George H. Thomas by Captain Loyd Wheaton, 20th U.S. Infantry, in present day Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota. Named for Major General George H. Thomas, who died on March 28, 1870. Renamed Fort Pembina on 6 Sep 1870. Abandoned in 1895.


Established by Captain Loyd Wheaton, 20th U.S. Infantry, and completed 8 Jul 1870. This was a post designed to garrison two companies of troops but normally held fewer. In the latter years of post operation the garrison was often less than 100. In October 1885 the post reported a garrison of 97 men, 2 field artillery pieces, 1 mountain howitzer, 100 rifles, 19 pistols, 6 horses, 23 mules and 9 wagons of various kinds.

In 1872 the post provided an escort for the American Boundary Commission as they determined the U.S. Canadian border between the Red River and the Lake of the Woods.

On 27 May 1895 buildings 9 to 19 were destroyed by fire between 5 and 6 am. Two barracks, a billiard room, library, cookhouse, oil house, commissary storehouse and the commanding officer's office were destroyed. The powder magazine was saved along with most of the property inside the buildings. The damage was estimated at $25,000, a large sum at the time, and a decision was made to close the post rather than rebuild.

The post was quickly turned over to Interior Department per General Order 40, 6 Jul 1895 and abandoned per Special Order 109, 15 Jul 1895 on 22 Jul 1895. The post property was auctioned off in 1902.

Fort Pembina Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1891-07 1892-02-02 ‘1st Lt. Avery, Frank P. 2741
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

No visible remains in Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota.

Location: Site adjacent to the airport in Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota. Map point may not be accurate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 48.9491259 Long: -97.256813

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 778'



Visited: area 28 Jul 2016

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