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.

Administrative Information

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

Biographical Note

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.
"Annals of Iowa"  4:448-453, July, 1900.
"Palimpsest"  2:333-350, November, 1921.

Content Description

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.

Related Materials

Travellers and Immigrants Guide to Wisconsin and Iowa. Map in Special Collections cataloged broadside. F581 A2 1838

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