Fort Pembina. Established July 8, 1870. Located a mile and a half south of the town of Pembina North Dakota on the left bank of the Red River of the North, just above the mouth of the Pembina River. The Minnesota legislature petitioned Congress for the establishment of a post at Pembina because of the unrest in the Red River Valley and the danger of depredations by the Sioux Indians, who had been driven into Canada some years before. Major General Winfield Scott Hancock recommended the establishment of the post on December 8, 1869. The post served also to check illicit trade between the United States and Canada. Established by Captain Lloyd Wheaton, 20th U.S. Infantry. Originally called Fort Thomas, for Major General George H. Thomas, who died on March 28, 1870. The post was designated Fort Pembina on September 6, 1870. A Large part of the post was destroyed by fire on May 27, 1895, leading to its abandonment on August 16, 1895. 4 letters-3 written by a soldier with the last name of Dean, to his brother in Liberty, Mo. The 4th letter is written by the daughter of a man working at the fort, to Alice Warner in Wooster, Ohio. One letter from Dean to his brother states-we are situated on the red river of the north which is frozen over with ice 28" thick...the public use the rivers in the winters for waggon roads or sleigh roads rather and they run the cars across on the ice also up in pembina city, which is a mile & 1/2 from and a lively little town too-has 3000 population and is growing very rapidly-hunting is not as good as it was in garland co, but t are some elk and plenty of geese and ducks and pairie chickens & grey wolves. 36 below zero....then the boats begin to run on the red... talks about going to fort snellingwe have 4 companies of infantry , and 1 company of cavalry-over 225 men in all..he is detailed as clerk of court for a court's martial... iImess with the other men, have no guard duty and sleep in my own room at the fort. more content about fort life his 2nd letter is dated 1883 to his brother re being a crack shot or a sharp shooter..we are practicing on old dummies hooked on a ring to a crooked wire......fire with a rifle all the way from 50 to 1000 yards...the 3rd letter to his brother regards money matters. the 4th letter is to Alice from her friend about people with frozen ears or feet...the men have large buffalo coats which come down almost to their ankles and hugh collars. they wear fur caps & gloves so they look almost like esquiman. she talks about men in the guard house, liquor, and other realities of fort life. 3 of the letters are several pages long, and the original envelopes with pembina Dak post marks are present. a very detailed account of fort life in rural Dakota Territory in the 1880's. One of the covers has 2 1 ct bn, one of which was torn when opened. very fine archive of letters. postage is $1.00 to the US; $2.00 worldwide. Insurance is available in the US only. T is a 7 day return policy.
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