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Army Posts 1865-1895 title

Fort Stevenson Winter quarters Detrobriand painting
Detrobriand's Painting of Fort Stevenson Winter Quarters SHSND# 12470
Regis de Trobriand, commanding officer of the District of Dakota stationed at Fort Stevenson noted the absence of vegetables during the long Dakota winter and the hardship and ill health it caused the soldiers. When a steamboat brought supplies, officers were able to purchase onions and potatoes which while not an exciting prospect for an entire winter’s diet, were sufficient to prevent scurvy. Apparently enlisted men did not have access to these supplies. Officers also had access to canned vegetables. During the winter of 1868, Trobriand noted that one man had died of scurvy, thirty-two were sick in the hospital with scurvy, and thirteen more were sick in quarters. Trobriand sought to trade with the Indians (presumably members of the Arikara, Mandan, or Hidatsa tribes of nearby Fort Berthold) for vegetables he identified as wild onion, wild artichokes, or salsify which would provide the enlisted men with some vitamins.

Soldiers stationed at Fort Rice experienced severe cases of scurvy as reported in The Frontier Scout. The 15 June 1865 edition reported the deaths of thirty-six soldiers from scurvy over the past several months as well as several more due to diarrhea which probably also developed from lack of vitamins found in fresh, or even stored, vegetables.