A Late Woodlands occupation (1000 BCE to 1000 CE) left mounds on the bluff overlooking the Missouri and Heart Rivers. Anvil stones about the bluff reach back thousands of years. The Mandan settled the site from about 1550 to 1781.
Various intertribal conflicts took place between the Mandan, Arikara, Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna (Yanktonai) on location or nearby to determine territorial boundaries.
In addition, the Battle of Apple Creek – an Indian Wars battle – took place on site and across the river from present-day Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park; a three-day long skirmish was fought on the Fort Abraham Lincoln military reservation between the US Indian Scouts and the Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta visible from the blockhouses atop the bluff; a “wood-cutter” fight between the 17th Infantry and the Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta is on location.
Following the last great Indian Wars fight, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Fort Abraham Lincoln was used as an internment camp the Nez Perce – before they were sent to Indian Territory – and some of the Northern Cheyenne.
The Corps of Discovery spent one night within present-day Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, just north of the On-A-Slant Mandan Indian Village. Lt. Col. George Custer led the 7th Cavalry to the Little Bighorn from this site.
Visit old Fort McKeen (the blockhouses) located within Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
See the 1803 Battle of Heart River from the bluff overlooking the scenic Heart River and Missouri River confluence.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park overlooks Sibley’s chase and the Sioux river crossings. Modern day landmarks such as the University of Mary and the Burlington Northern railroad bridge easily demarcate Gen. Sibley’s chase, the Sioux river crossings, and White Lodge’s escape north.
Stand on location of the 1872 Woodcutter Fight. Witness the Little Heart River Butte skirmish southwest of Fort Abraham Lincoln.
Take in the story of the Burnt Boat skirmish below Chief Looking’s Village between Fort Benteen miners and Black Eye’s band of Lakȟóta.
Location & More
Where: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Mandan, ND 4480 Fort Lincoln Rd, Mandan, ND Meeting place: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Visitor Center & Museum Activity level: Some walking, handicap accessible paths. Blockhouses are not handicap accessible. Duration: Starting at 11 am and lasting about an hour. Other: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park charges a daily vehicle entrance fee of $5.00. Tour Guide: Dakota Goodhouse Price: $18/person (Does not include $5.00 vehicle entrance fee to the Park)