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Fort Abercrombie History Project Receives Funding

Fargo, N.D. – The Center for Heritage Renewal at NDSU has received a grant of $43,219 from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program to determine battlefield boundaries from the 1862 Siege of Fort Abercrombie, which was part of the Dakota War of 1862-64.

Tom Isern, center director and University Distinguished Professor of History at NDSU, is principal investigator for the investigation of the Siege of Fort Abercrombie. Richard Rothaus, an experienced investigator in the field of cultural resource management, joins the center’s team to perform substantial work on the project. Project plans also incorporate consultations with tribal historians and elders.

The grant is one of 27 National Park Service grants totaling $1.25 million to preserve and protect significant sites from all wars fought on American soil. Funded projects help preserve battlefields from the Colonial-Indian Wars through World War II and include site mapping, archaeological studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and preservation and management plans.

“One of the fine things about this project is that it engages NDSU students with this subject of profound importance in regional history – the Dakota War,” said Isern. “Aaron Barth, a doctoral student in history, is a research historian for the investigation, and students from the history department’s senior seminar are doing primary research on the siege.”
Federal, state, local and tribal governments, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions are eligible for National Park Service battlefield grants, which are awarded annually. NDSU is one of only three institutions of higher education to receive grants in the current round of the American Battlefield Protection Program. Additional information is available at Members of the NDSU research team are posting highlights from their research at

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