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Collection 2457 - Fort Assinniboine Telegrams Received, 1881

Creator: Fort Assinniboine (Mont.)

Provenance Note: Telegrams received by the post of Fort Assinniboine in 1881 were purchased by the Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections from Mrs. Jeanne M. Irving of Olympia, Washington on April 5, 2004.

Historical Note: Fort Assinniboine was established by the United States Army during the summer of 1879 in Hill County near present day Havre, Montana. A huge complex of brick buildings, Assinniboine was easily the largest post in Montana Territory, and while its original mission included control of the Indian tribes who crossed the Canadian border, the fort became obsolete within a few years of its construction. During the early 1880s, soldiers at Assinniboine were called on to monitor the movements of Sitting Bull's band of Sioux and to continually escort Crees and other Canadian Indians back across the border. On August 23, 1879, a New Jersey fisherman named Louden Minugh enlisted in the United States Army at New York City. The twenty-two year old Minugh was assigned to Company C, Eighteenth Infantry and posted to Fort Assiniboine that fall. He remained at the post for his entire enlistment term, mustering out as a sergeant with an "excellent character" rating on August 22, 1884. Minugh later became a rancher and storekeeper in Harlem, Montana. Sometime before or after the closure of the post, Minugh came into possession of the 1881 telegrams from Fort Assinniboine and eventually they came to his granddaughter, Jeanne Minugh Irving.

Content Description Note: The telegrams in this collection are "true copies," duplicates of original transmissions that were mailed from the office of origin to Lt. Col. Henry M. Black, 18th United States Infantry and commanding officer of Fort Assinniboine during 1881. The majority came from the headquarters of the military District of Montana in Helena, and are signed by Lt. George L. Turner, Acting Assistant Adjutant General. Other telegrams are from the headquarters of the Department of Dakota at Fort Snelling, Minnesota; Fort Buford, Dakota Territory; and forts Maginnis, Shaw, and Keogh, Montana Territory. The telegrams address the movements of troops, disposition of supplies, court marital proceedings, and other routine military matters. Of particular interest are several messages dated in January 1881 concerning the movements of Sitting Bull and the army's failed attempt to capture his camp in the Milk River area. Other military movements against Canadian Crees, Piegans, and half-bloods are also discussed in the telegrams. The telegrams have been chronologically arranged. Unless otherwise indicated, all telegrams are from the headquarters of the District of Montana, Colonel Thomas H. Ruger, 18th U.S. Infantry, commanding, and signed by Lt. Turner, or from the Department of Dakota, Brigadier General Alfred Terry, commanding, and signed by Major Samuel Breck, Assistant Adjutant General. Parentheses after a date indicates more than one telegram bears that particular date of transmission.

Contents

Box 1
Folder 1. January 1881 (20 items)
  Jan 11
  Jan 12 (4)
  Jan 15
  Jan 12
  Jan 13
  Jan 14 (3)
  Jan 15 (2)
  Jan 17 (3)
  Jan 19
  Jan 20
  Jan 21
  Jan 23
Folder 2. February 1881 (6 items)
  Feb 2
  Feb 4 (2)
  Feb 9
  Feb 14
  Feb 18
Folder 3. March 1881 (8 items)
  Mar 3
  Mar 8 (From Fort Maginnis, Montana Territory)
  Mar 10
  Mar 14
  Mar 15
  Mar 21
  Mar 26
  Mar 31
Folder 4. April 1881 (3 items)
  Apr 7
  Apr 28 (2)
Folder 5. May 1881 (7 items)
  May 10
  May 19
  May 21
  May 24 (2)
  May 29
  May 31
Folder 6. June 1881 (4 items)
  June 3
  June 13
  June 20
  June 27
Folder 7. July 1881 (5 items)
  July 13
  July 25
  July 26
  July 27 (from Fort Shaw, Montana Territory)
  July 31
Folder 8. August 1881 ( 21 items)
  Aug 2
  Aug 3
  Aug 6 (2)
  Aug 9 (2)
  Aug 13 (3)
  Aug 15
  Aug 17
  Aug 18
  Aug 20
  Aug 22 (2)
  Aug 23 (4)
  Aug 30
  Aug 31
Folder 9. September 1881 (20 items)
  Sept 1 (2)
  Sept 2
  Sept 3
  Sept 5
  Sept 9
  Sept 10
  Sept 13
  Sept 16 (2)
  Sept 18
  Sept 19
  Sept 21 (2)
  Sept 22 (3)
  Sept 28 (2)
  Sept 30
Folder 10. October 1881 (16 items)
  Oct 1 (from Fort Buford, Dakota Territory)
  Oct 4 (from Fort Maginnis, Montana Territory)
  Oct 6 (3) (1 from Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C.)
  Oct 7
  Oct 8 (2)
  Oct 10 (3)
  Oct 11
  Oct 14 (2)
  Oct 29 (2)
Folder 11. November 1881 (26 items)
  Nov 2 (2)
  Nov 4 (5) (1 from Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C.)
  Nov 5
  Nov 7
  Nov 8
  Nov 10 (2)
  Nov 11 (3) (1 from Fort Buford, Dakota Territory)
  Nov 12
  Nov 15 (2)
  Nov 21
  Nov 23
  Nov 26 (2)
  Nov 28 (3)
  Nov 30
Folder 12. December 1881 (9 items)
  Dec 5 (from Fort Keogh, Montana Territory)
  Dec 7 (2) (1 from Fort Keogh, Montana Territory)
  Dec 8
  Dec 12
  Dec 13
  Dec 17 (from Fort Buford, Dakota Territory)
  Dec 28
  Dec 30

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 4/28/09