|The U.S. Government
established Montana's largest military post in 1879
following Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn and the
capture of the Nez Perce under Chief Joseph at the Bear
Paw Battlefield at Snake Creek. Fort Assinniboine
was the most important military post in the Northwest
because of its strategic location at the conjunction of
major Indian trails.
|Midway between Fort
Benton on the Missouri River in Montana and Fort Walsh
in the Cypress Hills of present-day Saskatchewan in
Canada, the trading post complex at Fort Assinniboine
was both a supply destination and stopping point.
Freight wagons and Metis Red River carts kept the trail
to Fort Assinniboine well trodden. The advent of
the railroad ushered in a new era and homesteading
brought new significance to the northern route. By
1911, Fort Assinniboine was obsolete.