The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center is temporarily closed until Wednesday, Feb. 2.

We recommend all visitors follow the CDC’s guidelines when visiting our sites.

SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Photographs > 1-1091 > 01087
To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or

OCLC WorldCat Logo

SHSND Photobook - Digitized images from State Archives

Digital Horizons

2019-2021 Blue Book Cover

Federal Depository Library Program

Chronicling America

Photographs - Collections - 1051-1091 - #01087

Title: Frank Lafayette Anders

Dates: 1871-1941

Collection Number: 01087

Quantity: 44 items

Abstract: Photographs taken by Frank Anders in 1922 and 1941 with notations of the troop movements in the Battle of Little Big Horn as well as maps showing the areas of action.  

Provenance: Images were separated from MSS 10073 Frank Lafayette Anders collection and the manuscript detailing the movement of the troops during this military action. Possibly used in his article, "The Custer Trail,” by Frank L. Anders. Glendale, Calif. : Arthur H. Clark Co., 1983."

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections
00411 Frank Lafayette Anders Photograph Collection
00681 Frank Lafayette Anders Photograph Collection
MSS 10073 Frank Lafayette Anders

From the Fargo Forum, Monday January 24, 1966

Maj. Frank Lafayette Anders, 90, probably the oldest holder of the Medal of Honor, died here at 10 p.m. Sunday.

A native of North Dakota, he had possessed the medal for 60 years this year. He was awarded it for distinguished gallantry during the Philippine Insurrection in 1899 when he was 23; but did not receive it until 1906. The medal had its inception in 1862.

Major Anders started his career in the military, one might say, at his birth. He was born at Ft. Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, Nov. 10, 1875, the son of a member of Company G, 17th U.S. Infantry. He was held in the arms of 1st Lt. (later Maj. Gen.) Edward S. Godfrey of the 7th Cavalry, who, too, became a Medal of Honor winner in Indian fighting. He was christened by the chaplain at Ft. Lincoln. The next day he was again held by Lt. Godfrey to watch the departure of Col. George Armstrong Custer leading the 7th Cavalry to the tragic Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The family moved to Fargo the following year when his father was discharged from the Army.  Wounds suffered during the Civil War caused his father’s death when the younger Anders was 15, forcing him to leave school and seek employment to contribute to the family income. He went to work as a call boy for the Northern Pacific Railway in 1890 and later learned the machinist’s trade in its shops.

His active military career began in December 1894 when he enlisted in Co. B of the 1st Regiment of the North Dakota National Guard. He was serving his second enlistment when his unit was sent to the Philippines in 1898. He was assigned to Young’s Scouts, a picked body of men noted for their rifle marksmanship.

He won his Medal of Honor when he and the 11 other scouts charged and put to a rout a group of insurrectors May 13, 1899 at a bridge near San Miguel, a charge in which Young fell mortally wounded.
On that morning, Chief of Scouts Young was ordered to take the scouts and accompany Captain Birkheimer on a patrol to determine a position from which San Miguel, a fortified place of about 20,000 people, could be shelled prior to assault by infantry. The scouts proceeded to within a mile or less of the city, where they suddenly came on an entrenched line about a half mile long. Already deployed, the scouts at once charged the line, the center of the scouts’ line being occupied by Young, Anders, Downs, and McIntyre. The enemy held their line for about 15 minutes and then, having lost 46 killed and many wounded, they retired hurriedly across fields and the stone bridge leading into the town, carrying their wounded with them. The enemy strength was estimated by Captain Birkheimer as 300 but it was afterward found that the line was occupied by about 600 men, all armed with Mauser rifles. The number of the scouts that charged this line was 11. At the bridge the enemy turned on the scouts, firing from behind the stone walls and the stone piers. On the bridge four were killed, and it was here that Young was mortally wounded. The wounding of Young was a serious matter, for the whole scout force numbered only 18, and it was a rule that no wounded scout would ever be abandoned. Those immediately present at the fight at the bridge with Young were Anders, Downs, and McIntyre in the road, about 150 feet from the bridge, and the rest of the scouts coming to the bridge across the open ground and between the houses that lined the right of the road. The bridge was immediately charged, the scouts carrying Young with them. A church with a bell tower stood about one block from the bridge and seeing the open door, the scouts made for it, going inside and from this position held the town until about 2 p.m., having in the meantime driven the enemy entirely out of the city. At this time reinforcements came up and relieved the scouts.

Major Anders’ citation read as follows: “This is to certify that the president of the United States of America, pursuant to the act of congress approved March 3, 1862, has awarded in the name of Congress to Corp. Frank L. Anders, Company B 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry, the Congressional Medal of Honor for most distinguished gallantry in action at San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands, May 13, 1899. With 11 other scouts he charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.”

Anders returned to the U.S. in September 1899 and was discharged as a corporal. He worked with mining concerns in Salt Lake City, Utah, for two years and realized the need for a college education in order to achieve success in his chosen field.

He entered Ripon, Wis., College in 1902 and with only a seventh grade education as a preparatory by dispensation from the college authorities. He attended summer school to make up his deficiency and was graduated in four years at the head of his class in 1906. He was awarded the first scholarship at the college to study at the University of Wisconsin. After a year there in civil engineering he entered the employ of a copper company in Utah.

He returned to Fargo in 1909 to practice engineering and the next year was appointed city engineer by the late Mayor V. R. Lovell. During his 10-year service, he designed and supervised the construction of the Fargo filtration plant and managed its operation as superintendent of waterworks.

His love of the military was ever with him. It was a matter of pride that he had induced all but one of the employees of his office to enter military service during World War I. He roused much civilian enthusiasm in government bond purchases.

He was commissioned in 1918 as a captain in the Engineers Corps and was stationed at Camp Dodge, where he soon wrote the history of the camp for the War Department record. He was ordered to Camp Funston in Kansas in connection with historical work there and in 1919 was placed in charge of utilities of the hospital there, then the largest in the United States. He subsequently served at Washington and at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. He was discharged in 1919 after demobilization and hospitalization work of the post-war period had been completed.

He was appointed regimental utilities officer in charge of Camp Grafton, N.D. in 1921 and completed a five-year construction program rated at the time as second to none in the United States. He also held a reserve commission of captain in the Fifth Engineers.

Major Anders joined the Army and Navy Legion of Valor in 1925, an organization reserved for Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross recipients. He was named historian of the organization and was later elevated to senior vice-commander.

He had authored literature relative to military life, had made a map of the historic route of Gen. Custer and had compiled his records. He was a member of the American Society of Engineers, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Army and Navy Club of Washington, D.C., American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Order of Indian Wears of the United States, Fargo-Moorhead Officers Mess, the Masons, and of the Fargo Commons Club.

He was a heavy reader with a wide range of tastes. His restless search for activity and diversion led him to photography. His declining years have been filled with activities in connection with the military career and accomplishments. His military acquaintances were among the nation’s greats of modern times.

He leaves his wife at the family residence at 1205 6th St. S., Fargo; a daughter, Mrs. Henry (Marian) Presler, in India where her husband is a missionary; and a son, retired Lt. Co. Franklin O. Anders, Leamington, Ontario, Can. There are eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


01087-00001 Reno crossing in advance Reno creek line August 12, 1941
01087-00002 Reno final position Reno creek line August 12, 1941
01087-00003 Custer and Reno positions on Reno creek line August 12, 1941
01087-00004 Custer's and Reno's trails Reno creek line August 12, 1941
01087-00005 Custer battlefield tombstones looking N August 12, 1941
01087-00006 Custer's, Reno's and Benteen' trails August 12, 1941
01087-00007 Smith ridge looking NE August 12, 1941
01087-00008 Where Custer's battalions formed August 12, 1941
01087-00009 Benteen's and Custer's trails August 12, 1941
01087-00010 Benteen's trail Reno Creek line August 12, 1941
01087-00011 Benteen's and Custer's trail 10 miles from Little Big Horn August 12, 1941
01087-00012 Headstones in middle of line August 12, 1941
01087-00013 Calhoune position on skyline looking NE August 12, 1941
01087-00014 Smith ridge looking NE         August 12, 1941
01087-00015 Extreme left of line looking N August 12, 1941
01087-00016 Custer field looking NW      August 12, 1941
01087-00017 Man standing in grassy field along Custer's trail August 12, 1941
01087-00018 Heart River (ND) crossing spot August 12, 1941
01087-00019 First campsite out from Fort Abraham Lincoln (ND) August 12, 1941
01087-00020 Monuments nearest river and W of Custer Hill August 12, 1941
01087-00021 Monuments W of Custer Hill August 12, 1941
01087-00022 Custer Monument August 12, 1941
01087-00023 Custer battlefield tombstones August 12, 1941
01087-00024 Frank Anders and Sergeant Windolph August 15, 1941
01087-00025 Morton County (ND) Plat Map 1884 showing Custer trail 1941
01087-00026 Eastern North and South Dakota Plat Map 1941
01087-00027 Lisbon Area, Ransom County (ND) Plat Map 1941
01087-00028 Barnes County (ND) Plat Map 1941
01087-00029 Ransom County (ND) Plat Map 1941
01087-00030 Morton County (ND) Plat Map 1884 showing Custer trail 1941
01087- 00031 Frank L. Anders, Co. G, 17th U.S. Infantry 1871     
01087-00032 Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00033 Reno retreat from Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00034 View from Hodgson Monument, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00035 Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00036 Custer camp site, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00037 Reno ground of advance from Indian camp, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00038 Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00039 Godfrey's high point from east, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00040 Custer Battlefield, Garryowen, (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00041 Reno's trench on top of the hill, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00042 Gall's advance, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00043 Reno trenches looking north, Custer Battlefield, Garryowen (Mont.) 1922     
01087-00044 Custer Battlefield, Garryowen (Mont.) 1922     

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. State Archives is open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666

Social Media:
See all social media accounts