"Life was a constant routine of going to the same dinners, listening to the same stories, laughing at the same jokes; whist and euchre parties...now and then afforded relaxation; the inevitable quarrels of such a small society added a little . . . — — Map (db m188307) HM
The daily life of soldiers on a frontier fort was often difficult and monotonous. Regimented by army routine and regulations, soldiers spent most of their time performing routine drills and duties.
Enlisted men were also assigned fatigue duty, . . . — — Map (db m188306) HM
In 1880, the 25th Infantry—one of four U.S. Army regiments of African Americans—were headquartered at Fort Randall. Members of the regimental headquarters staff, regimental band, and three companies remained here for nearly three years.
Native . . . — — Map (db m188321) HM
"Our new fort is considered to be the most elegant and best constructed frontier military fort on the Upper Missouri. We consider our accommodations to be the lap of luxury in the wilds of Dakota Territory."
—Soldier at Fort Randall, . . . — — Map (db m188311) HM
During the Civil War, regular army regiments were sent east and replaced with state and territorial forces. Despite these personnel changes, daily life at the fort remained the same.
In the months leading up to the Civil War . . . — — Map (db m188320) HM
Fort Randall headquarters once stood on this spot. Known as "the house," it was the vital hub of the post and the commanding officer's home. Between 1856 and 1892, Fort Randall had 50 different commanding officers.
Captions: . . . — — Map (db m188308) HM
Soldiers were expected to respond to orders instantly and without question, especially during battle. To instill such obedience, military discipline was a regular part of fort life. Rules were strictly enforced, and punishment was often harsh. . . . — — Map (db m188319) HM
Keeping soldiers fed was a challenge on the frontier. Supplies were often limited to what could be preserved and shipped long distances.
An enlisted man's rations consisted of flour, salt beef, salt pork, beans, rice, molasses, and coffee. The . . . — — Map (db m188313) HM
The parade ground was the heart of the frontier fort. Here soldiers gathered for roll call, drills, and dress parades beneath the stars and stripes flying high on the towering flagstaff.
The parade ground was also used for recreation, including . . . — — Map (db m188312) HM
"Imagine yourself standing on a plain on which your eye can see no bounds. Not a tree, not a shrub, not a tall weed. Imagine then countless herds of buffaloes. If you can imagine all this, then you will know what Fort Randall is like, and the . . . — — Map (db m188300) HM
was established by Brig. Gen. W. S. Harney in 1856 and named by him for Col. Daniel Randall, Deputy Paymaster U.S. Army. Construction was started on June 26, 1856 by 1st Lts. George H. Paige, 2nd Inf. and D.S. Stanley, 1st Cavalry, Col. E. Lee 2nd . . . — — Map (db m188367) HM
In 1854, Lieutenant Grattan led a party of 29 soldiers from Fort Laramie to arrest a Dakota man accused of killing a settler's ox. When the tribe refused to surrender the man and tensions escalated, Grattan ordered his men to open fire, killing a . . . — — Map (db m188302) HM
Unlike fur trade forts, most military posts like Fort Randall did not have a stockade. Military forts didn't need a protective wall surrounding their buildings because they had military personnel to protect them. Most frontier military posts on the . . . — — Map (db m188303) HM
Fort Randall saw many advances in weaponry during its lifetime. Improvements in ammunition and firearms resulted in greater power and accuracy as well as faster loading and firing.
A magazine for the storage of weapons was one of the first . . . — — Map (db m188318) HM
More soldiers were killed by disease, accidents, and harsh weather than by battle. Diarrheal diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and cholera were the most common and deadly, followed by malaria. These diseases spread rapidly due to poor diet, . . . — — Map (db m188315) HM
You're standing in front of one of the five barracks at Fort Randall. Enlisted men were originally housed in log structures. These were replaced in the early 1870s with framed, two-story buildings.
Frame barracks at Fort . . . — — Map (db m188310) HM
Between retreat and lights out, soldiers had a few hours of free time. They usually spent their time in the barracks or at the post trader's store, talking, smoking, playing music, singing—or drinking and gambling. Officers often joined fraternal . . . — — Map (db m188314) HM
provided in further explanation of the plane orientation table to the right rear.
A - Comdg. Off. Qtrs.
B - Officers Qtrs.
C - Barracks
D - Hospital
E - Guard House
F - Magazine
G - Commissary & Store
H - . . . — — Map (db m187793) HM
"The life my people want is a life of freedom.... Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my . . . — — Map (db m188322) HM
The first soldiers to garrison Fort Randall were 365 men and 22 officers from the 2nd Infantry. Commissioned officers were usually career soldiers who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Enlisted men were volunteers who usually . . . — — Map (db m188305) HM
People needed more than food and shelter on a frontier fort. In 1875, soldiers of the 1st Infantry built a chapel that included a library and an Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) meeting hall.
Since the chapel was not a military building, . . . — — Map (db m188297) HM
The quartermaster and commissary storehouse once stood on this spot. Quartermaster and Commissary Departments worked together to keep the fort supplied.
The quartermaster was responsible for the fort's uniforms, equipment, transportation, and . . . — — Map (db m188317) HM
In the mid-1800s, the United States had a growing appetite for land and natural resources. Wanting to expand across the continent, Congress passed the Donation Land Claim Act in 1850, offering free land to encourage settlement in the Oregon . . . — — Map (db m188301) HM
"The closure of Fort Randall followed closely the passing of the frontier as officially pronounced by the national census of 1890.... The days of the Missouri River posts were gone."
— historian Jerome A. Greene, Fort Randall on . . . — — Map (db m188323) HM
Although the fort was abandoned and its buildings sold or dismantled in the 1890s, objects found during archaeological digs at Fort Randall nearly a century later provided clues to daily life at this and other frontier posts. Apart from building . . . — — Map (db m188285) HM
The building that once stood here housed junior officers called subalterns. Officers' wives, along with their children and servants, were allowed to live on a frontier fort. The officers' wives formed a Women's Association to help relieve the . . . — — Map (db m188309) HM