Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Fort Atkinson, Iowa Military Records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1839-1849
Creator: Fort Atkinson, Iowa
Extent: .50 linear foot.
Collection Number: MSC0096
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Muster rolls, post returns, and biographical sketches in typed carbon copy form.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection of records of the military units stationed at Fort Atkinson, Iowa, 1839 -- 1849 was secured from Congressman Henry Oscar Talle of Decorah, Iowa, for the University Library as a direct result of the interest and correspondence initiated by Mr. George M. Sheets, 1958 -- 1959. Kathie Bordelon contributed two photocopied letters in 2005.

Preferred Citation: Fort Atkinson, Iowa Military Records, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Fort Atkinson, Winneshiek County, Iowa
 
1840: Fort Atkinson was erected under orders for its construction by the U.S. Government for the explicit purpose of protecting the Winnebago Indians against their enemies: the Sioux on the North, the Sacs and Foxes on the South, and the encroaching white settlers. The fort overlooks the Turkey River.
 
1840: Fort Atkinson was named in honor of the U.S. Army District Commander, Brigadier General Henry Atkinson. Fort Atkinson was erected under the supervision of Captain Isaac Lynde with Company F of the Fifth Infantry, a detachment of eighty-two officers and enlisted men.
 
1841: Captain Lynde's detachment was joined by Captain Edwin V. Summer's detachment from Company B of the First United States Dragoons, bringing the fort garrison up to one hundred-sixty men. Fort Atkinson continued to be a two company post for the next six years.
 
1844: Reverend J.L. Elliot arrived at Fort Atkinson. He served as both chaplain and schoolmaster.
 
1846: War with Mexico necessitated the withdrawal of U.S. Army troops from Fort Atkinson, and consequent replacement with Iowa Volunteer units. James M. Morgan of Burlington and John Parker of Dubuque were commissioned captains by Governor James Clarke, and assumed command of the companies known as Captain Morgan's Independent Company of Iowa Volunteers, and Captain Parker's Iowa Dragoon Volunteers.
 
1847: Formation of a new company known as Morgan's Company of Iowa Mounted Volunteers.
 
1848: Captain Morgan's Company of Iowa Mounted Volunteers was given its last assignment in September 1848 of escorting the Winnebago tribes to the mouth of Watab River in Minnesota Territory, to which place they were removed by order of the U.S. Government. Upon completion of the assignment Captain Morgan, "Little Red", and his company were discharged from active service.
 
1848: Captain F.L. Alexander with Company C of the Sixth Infantry, U.S. Army, assumed command of Fort Atkinson from September 25, 1848 to February 24, 1849.
 
1849: February 24, 1849, Fort Atkinson, Iowa, was abandoned as a military post. 1853: The U.S. Government sold the buildings of Fort Atkinson at public auction for the sum of $3,521.00.
 
1856: The US Government sold the lands upon which Fort Atkinson rested via Acts of Congress in 1856 and 1860.
 
1964: Fort Atkinson's site has been converted into an Iowa state park and monument.
 
References:
 
"Annals of Iowa"  4:448-453, July, 1900.
 
"Palimpsest"  2:333-350, November, 1921.

All of the records in this collection are in typed carbon copy form. Knowledge as to the existence of the original documents was not supplied by the donor with the gift.
 
The records are in very good condition and have been well-preserved. In the absence of access to the original documents, these copies could be of significant importance to researchers and scholars interested in nineteenth century Iowa military history.
Travellers and Immigrants Guide to Wisconsin and Iowa. Map in Special Collections cataloged broadside. F581 A2 1838

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: 2002 ADDENDUM

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Muster Rolls
  • Company F, 5th Infantry, US Army. December 31-October 31. Ten pages - 1839-1841
  • Company B, 1st Dragoons, US Army. April 30-December 31. Eight pages - 1841
  • Company B, 1st Dragoons, US Army. December 31-December 31. Twelve pages - 1842-1843
  • Company B, 1st Dragoons, US Army. December 31-December 31. Twelve pages - 1843-1844
  • Company B, 1st Dragoons, US Army. December 31-December 31. Ten pages - 1844-1845
  • Company B, 1st Dragoons, US Army. December 31-December 31. Six pages - 1845-1846
  • Company K, 1st Infantry, US Army. August 31-June 30. Thirty-four pages - 1841-1844
  • Company I, 1st Dragoons, US Army. June 30-December 31. Six pages - 1842
  • Company B, 1st Infantry, US Army. February 28-June 30. Four pages - 1843
  • Company A, 1st Infantry, US Army. June 30-October 31. Four pages - 1843
  • Muster Rolls and biographical
  • Company E, 1st Infantry, US Army. April 30-August 31. Fifteen pages - 1844-1845
  • Company C, 6th Infantry, US Army. August 31-February 28. Seven pages - 1848-1849
  • Company A, 1st Iowa Volunteer Dragoons. September 9-November 5. Seven pages - 1846
  • Company A, 1st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. July 15-July 15. Sixteen pages - 1846-1847
  • Morgan's Company of Mounted Iowa Volunteers. July 15-September 11. Twenty pages - 1847-1848
  • Wisconsin Volunteers Stationed at Fort Atkinson, Iowa, June. One page - 1848
  • Buckner, Simon Boliver. Biographical sketch. One page
  • List of Military Units at Fort Atkinson, Iowa, June-February. One page - 1840-1849
  • Pleasanton, Alfred. Biographical sketch. One page
  • Post Returns
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, May 31-December 31. Washington, D.C., Work Projects Administration. Forty-two pages - 1840, 1940
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, D.C., Work Projects Administration. Seventy-three pages - 1841, 1940
  • Post Returns
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, D.C., Work Projects Administration. Seventy-three pages - 1842, 1940
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Seventy-one pages - 1843, 1940
  • Post Returns
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Seventy-four pages - 1844, 1940
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Eighty-seven pages - 1845, 1940
  • Post Returns
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Seventy-three pages - 1846, 1940
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Seventy-one pages - 1847, 1940
  • Post Returns
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-December 31. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Sixty-one pages - 1848, 1940
  • Fort Atkinson, Iowa, January 1-February 24. Washington, DC, Work Projects Administration. Six pages - 1849, 1940
  • Series 2: 2002 ADDENDUM
  • Box 1:
  • 2 letters from Contonment Atkinson, one from Lt. D.H. McPhail and one from Capt. Isaac Lynde, regarding the use of stone in construction of the fort rather than wood. Gift of Kathie Bordelon - 2005

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.