Date of Award

Spring 1958

Document Type




First Advisor

Thomas Clinch


This thesis has been written to present the history of Fort Ellis, Montana Territory, from 1867 to 1886, the period in which the post existed as an active military establishment.

It has been my purpose in this thesis to show, first, that Fort Ellis existed as a necessary post, in the protection of the Gallatin Valley. Secondly, I have endeavored to stress the role of the Fort Ellis troops as a component part of the Montana Column in the Campaign of 1876. Thirdly, I have attempted to illustrate the social and economic aspects of the post in the valley in which it was located.

It is hoped that this analysis of the history of Fort Ellis will shed light on at least one additional phase of Montana History.

Fort Ellis was established as a military post, August 27, 1867, by order of the President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, and General Ulysses S. Grant. This order was then transmitted to General Terry, commander of the Department of the Platte.

Fore Ellis, with both cavalry and infantry, was a typical frontier post. It was named after Colonel Augustus Van Horne Ellis, who had been killed while rendering gallant service at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863. Ellis was a member of the Sixth Massachusetts' Volunteer Infantry which was a colored regiment.