Fort Lincoln

It was from Ft. Lincoln, on May 17, 1876, that Custer and the 7th Cavalry left for their date with history on the Little Bighorn River in Montana.  The fort has gone through a lot of restoration and is a pleasure to visit.

I have been to Ft. Lincoln many times.  I live in Pierre, SD and my parents live in Minot, ND.  I pass through Bismarck every time we go up to visit.  I decided to pay the fort a visit on September 4, 2005.  It was a perfect day (98 degrees with a wind of about 60 mph).  Oh well, this was going to be fun anyway.  I got there and went into the bookstore first.  I always do this first.  They have a great selection of Custer and Plains Indian War books.  I picked up a DVD (The Western Edge) and a copy of  Richard G. Hardorff's THE CUSTER BATTLE CASUALTIES, II. 

I took a stroll down to the barracks and did some snooping around there.  I basically walked the perimeter of the fort.  I then drove up the hill to the infantry post.  Here the view is spectacular.  Bismarck can be seen to the east and the meandering Missouri River is laid out before you.  I drove back down the hill and took in the Custer House tour.  My tour guide was a high school girl dressed like a laundress.  I felt sorry for her in the heat but she said she was used to it.  When you tour the house, they basically take you "back in time" to 1875.  They talk as if the Custer family still lives there but are simply away at the moment.  I don't recall the guide's name but she was great.  She knew a lot about the "fun facts" of the Custer clan -- i.e. Custer liked to slide down the banister of the staircase.  Ft. Lincoln does a very good job of training their tour guides.  After the tour, someone else in the group asked where she went to college.  She replied she was only a junior in high school and was only working Sundays since school had started.  She did a damn good job.  During the tour, she would ask questions of the guests and joke with them.  I highly recommend this tour.

To see the photos from Fort Lincoln, click here.