In 1856 the U.S. Army established Fort Randall on the Missouri River as one of three "permanent" forts on the Dakota frontier. In the years following the Civil War, the fort was often manned by African-American troops such as the 25th Infantry Regiment, pictured above. The fort was decommissioned in 1892 and fell into ruin. By the mid-twentieth century, the only structure still standing was the post chapel. The fort was the site of archaeological excavations in the 1980s, sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of their ongoing volunteer archaeology program.
South Dakota State Historical Society Archaeological Research Center