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Archives - Digital Resources - Frontier Scout

Issues of Frontier Scout available on-line:

The first newspaper known to have been published in northern Dakota Territory was the Frontier Scout issued at Fort Union on July 7, 1864, Robert Winegar & Ira F.Goodwin, publishers, Company I, 30th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Proprietors. Winegar and Goodwin were from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The newspaper claimed to be a weekly, with a subscription price of $3.00 per year. Four issues were published at Fort Union, the last on August 17, 1864. The newspaper resumed publication at Fort Rice June 15, 1865, Lt. C. H. Champney, publisher, and Captain E. G. Adams, editor, “operated by the 1st U.S.V. Infantry.”

Now a National Park Service National Historic Site, Fort Union Trading Post was established in 1828 by the American Fur Company. It was a trading post established to do business with the Plains Indians. It lasted until 1867, making it the longest-lasting American fur trading post. At that time, it was purchased by the U. S. Army and torn down to provide building materials for the expansion of Fort Buford, a military post 3 miles downstream on the same side of the river.

As described by the National Park Service, “in the last years of the Civil War, Union troops arrived at Fort Union. They were on the plains as part of General Alfred Sully's campaigns against the Sioux. Company I, 30th Wisconsin Infantry garrisoned Fort Union guarding supplies that had been dropped off there for Sully. When he arrived at Fort Union, Sully set about to search for a site for a military fort. He almost immediately chose not to use Fort Union, partly due to the dilapidated state and partly due to its small size. In 1866 more troops arrived in the area and began construction of Fort Buford, three miles east of Fort Union.”

Lewis F. Crawford, in his History of North Dakota, explains that “ portion of the force assigned to General Sully for his second expedition (1864) came up the Missouri with him from Sioux City and the remaining troops, under command of Col. M. T. Thomas of the Eighth Minnesota, came from Fort Ridgely to join him on the Missouri. Col. Thomas set out from Fort Ridgely on June 5 and joined General Sully on July 2 some distance down the river form Bismarck, where they established Fort Rice after crossing the river on July 9.”

No copies of Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Frontier Scout from Fort Union are known to exist. When the Frontier Scout began publishing at Fort Rice, it began with vol. 1, no. 1 again, so surviving issues 2, 3, and 4 from Fort Union have the same numbers as the early issues from Fort Rice. The issues of the Frontier Scout held by the State Historical Society of North Dakota came from a number of sources, often as single issues from personal collections. The first of the collection was apparently received in 1913. Some issues have been copied from other collections.

Frontier Scout (Fort Union, N.D.)
Fort Union, Dakota Territory [N.D.] : Winegar & Goodwin.
Published Weekly in English language.
Other information: "Co. I 30th Wis. Vols., Proprietors." Continued by: Frontier scout (Fort Rice, N.D.). Wisconsin infantry. Regiment, 30th. Company I.
Microfilm holdings (roll numbers, inclusive dates, missing issues):
#06325+ - July 14, 1864- Aug. 17, 1864

Frontier Scout (Fort Rice, N.D.)
Fort Rice, D.T. [i.e., N.D.] : C.H. Champney, 1865.
Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 15, 1865)-v. 1, no. 15 (Oct. 12, 1865).
Published Weekly in English language.
Other information: Operated by the 1st. U.S.V. Infantry in North Dakota. Continues: Frontier scout (Fort Union, N.D.). United States. Army. Volunteer Infantry, 1st (1864-1865).
Microfilm holdings (roll numbers, inclusive dates, missing issues):
#06325+ - June 15, 1865- Oct. 12, 1865

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