By Harold H. Schuler
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Harold H. Schuler’s Fort Sisseton is the only comprehensive history of the military fort that was established in Dakota Territory in 1864 along the main travel route of the Dakota Sioux. Responding initially to the Dakota War of 1862, the War Department operated Fort Sisseton until its disbandment in 1889. Extensively researched at the National Archives and South Dakota State Archives, Fort Sisseton recounts the military history of the post, including the activities of the Frontier Indian Scout Force and the midnight ride of Samuel J. Brown in 1866 to warn of an impending attack.
Originally called Fort Wadsworth, the fort has also served as a ranch, hunting lodge, and gunnery range. Today, restored to its Dakota Territory origins, Fort Sisseton State Park is the site of the annual Fort Sisseton Historical Festival.
Besides telling in detail the story of the fort and the life of its officers and men, Schuler’s book brings together a rich horde of more than sixty photographs, maps, and drawings, including such illustrations as a map of Fort Sisseton roads and Indian mounds (1864), examples of Indian agent and military correspondence, and photographs of tribal people, fort officers and men, and interior and exterior views of many of the buildings at the fort.
Harold H. Schuler is the author of several books on South Dakota, including two previous fort histories, Fort Pierre Chouteau and Fort Sully: Guns at Sunset. A former assistant to United Sates Senator Francis Case and retired Pierre, South Dakota, businessman, he was vice president of the Board of Trustees of the South Dakota State Historical Society.