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An Official History of this Army Post, and a Picture of it as it was.

Annals of Iowa for July contains a variety of very Interesting historical matter. Locally the most important is a picture of old Fort Atkinson copied from an original drawing on file in the office of the Adjutant General of the U. S. Army, at Washington. The point of view is the same a railway traveler gets of the remains of the fort as he comes east and reaches a point almost due southwest of fort hill. Accompanying the picture is an historical sketch in which is given the official correspondence which led to the building of the Fort. The Fort was named after Brig. General Henry Atkinson, then in command of the first department of the western division of the army, with headquarters at old Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien. The purpose of Its establishment was to protect the Winnebagos from intrusion of whites on one hand, and the incursions of the Sac and Fox tribes of Indians on the other. The first movement began in May, 1840, when Capt. Isaac Lynde left Fort Crawford with Company F (82 men) of the 5th infantry, being sent out on a scouting excursion. On the 31st of May they went into camp at a point on the Turkey river, about three-fourths of a mile from the north of Spring Creek, Lat. 42 10' N and Long 15 2' W of Washington. The spot was named "Camp Washington, and barracks and quarters sufficient for one company were erected. The following spring the place was given, by the Secretary of War, the title it has since carried as Fort Atkinson In June, 1841, the quarters were enlarged to a two company post, and such it remained until 1847, when It was informally abandoned by the withdrawal of troops; but it was not until Sept. 25, 1848, that the official order was given. The act was perfected Jan. 10th, 1851.

The reservation about the Fort consisted of 1920 acres, viz. sections 7 and 17, and the east half of sections 7 and 18, in township 96, range 9 west, now known as Washington township, Winneshiek county, Iowa.

Source: Decorah Republican July 5, 1900 P 2 C 3

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this page was last updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2021