Forts of the Northern Plains


Forts of the Northern Plains

A Guide to Military and Civilian Posts of the Plains Indian Wars

New Edition

Jeff Barnes

296 pages
118 color photographs, 6 b&w photographs, 8 color maps


July 2024


$24.95 Pre-order

About the Book

As the first official symbols of U.S. government presence on the western frontier, the forts of the northern plains were both centers of commerce and sources of conflict. The integral roles these forts played during decades of warfare with the Plains Indians tribes—and the fate of the posts after those wars ended—were essential to the expansion of the American West during this traumatic period of history.

In Forts of the Northern Plains Jeff Barnes presents an informative guidebook to the forts of the Indian campaigns of the late nineteenth century. Focusing on sites in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, Barnes includes the forts’ histories, descriptions of what remains today, directions, nearby points of interest, and visitor information for each post. This new, expanded edition adds a number of federal sites designated as camps and posts, as well as civilian and militia sites that are marked. With new entries, color photographs, and updated information on the forts, as well as a rating system for traveler interests, Barnes provides an up-to-date guide of the historic military posts of the Indian Wars.

Author Bio

Jeff Barnes is a writer of the Great Plains and a former newspaper reporter, editor, public relations writer, and director of marketing for the Durham Museum in Omaha. He is the author of The Great Plains Guide to Custer and The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill, among other books. Barnes resides in Omaha.


“Barnes has produced a valuable combination of history and travel guide for all students of the Northern Plains Indian Wars. A very timely, very impressive work.”—Robert M. Utley, author of The Last Sovereigns: Sitting Bull and the Resistance of the Free Lakotas

“Well written and researched, [Forts of the Northern Plains] offers a handy, carefully organized summary of many important military sites in the West.”—Barton H. Barbour, Great Plains Quarterly

“A much-needed, up-to-date guide to the critical forts of the Indian campaigns of the late nineteenth century. This book should be on the shelves of everyone with an interest in the West during this traumatic period of American history.”—Jerome A. Greene, author of Nez Perce Summer, 1877: The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis

Table of Contents

Forts of the Northern Plains: A Map
Site Ranking System
Forts of Iowa
Camp Kearny/Council Bluffs Blockhouse
Camp McClellan
Fort Armstrong (Illinois)
Fort Atkinson
Fort Cherokee
Fort Crawford (Wisconsin)
Fort Croghan
Fort Defiance
Fort Des Moines No. 1
Fort Des Moines No. 2
Fort Dodge
Fort Eads
Fort John
Old Fort Madison
Fort Peterson
Fort Purdy
Fort Robinson
Spirit Lake Fort and Spirit Lake Stockade
Forts of Minnesota
Big Kandiyohi Lake Stockade
Camp Lincoln
Camp Pope
Camp Release
Camp Watonwan
Fair Haven Fort
First Congregational Church
Forest City Stockade
Fort Alexandria
Fort Belmont
Fort Chanyaska
Fort Cox
Fort Fairmount
Fort Hanska
Fort Holes
Fort Judson
Fort Juelson
Fort Lake Johanna
Fort Paynesville
Fort Ridgely
Fort Ripley
Fort Snelling
Glencoe Fort
Hutchinson Stockade
Maine Prairie Corners Fort
New Ulm Defenses
Norway Lake Military Post
Ole Jorgenson’s Stockade
Pike’s Fort
Pomme de Terre Stockade
Redwood Stockade
St. Joseph Blockhouse
Sauk Centre Stockade
Forts of Montana
Camp Cooke
Fort Assiniboine
Fort Benton
Fort C. F. Smith
Fort Custer
Fort Ellis
Fort Fizzle
Fort Keogh
Fort Logan
Fort Maginnis
Fort Missoula
Fort Pease
Fort Peck
Fort Shaw
Powder River Depot
Forts of Nebraska
Camp Clarke and Bridge
Camp Lookout
Camp Sheridan
Fort Atkinson
Fort Butler
Fort Garber
Fort Hartsuff
Old Fort Kearny
Fort Kearny
Fort McPherson
Fort Mitchell
Fort Niobrara
Fort O. K.
Fort Omaha
Fort Robinson
Fort Sidney
Omaha Quartermaster Depot
Post Millalas
Post North Platte Station
Post Plum Creek
Post South Loup Fork
U.S. Blockhouse
Forts of North Dakota
Bad Lands Cantonment
Camp Hancock
Fort Abercrombie
Fort Abraham Lincoln
Fort Buford
Fort Dilts
Fort Pembina
Fort Ransom
Fort Rice
Fort Seward
Fort Stevenson
Fort Totten
Fort Union
Fort Yates
Sully’s Heart River Corral
The Sibley Camps
Camp Arnold
Camp Atchison
Camp Buell
Camp Corning
Camp Grant
Camp Kimball
Camp Sheardown
Camp Weiser
Camp Whitney
Forts of South Dakota
Camp Collier
Camp Collins
Camp Edwards
Camp Sturgis
Custer City Stockade
Custer’s Permanent Camp
Fort Brule
Fort Dakota
Fort James
Fort Meade
Fort Pierre Chouteau
Fort Randall
Fort Sisseton
Fort Sod
Fort Sully No. 1
Fort Sully No. 2
Fort Thompson
Gordon Stockade
Yankton Stockade
Forts of Wyoming
Camp Brown
Camp Carlin
Camp Cloud Peak
Camp Jenney
Cantonment Reno
Detachment at Bridger’s Ferry
Detachment at Deer Creek Station
Detachment at Horseshoe Creek Station
Fort Bonneville
Fort Bridger
Fort Caspar
Fort D. A. Russell
Fort Fetterman
Fort Fred Steele
Fort Hat Creek
Fort Laramie
Fort McKinney
Fort Phil Kearny
Fort Reno
Fort Sanders
Fort Stambaugh
Fort Supply
Fort Thompson
Fort Washakie

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