| The 20th Infantry consists of a group of individuals who are
dedicated to preserving the heritage of the military presence on the upper plains during the
1870's. More specifically, the group portrays the Infantry lifestyle of the soldiers
who were garrisoned at Fort Seward, located near the confluence of the Pipestem and
James Rivers, where the city of Jamestown, North Dakota, now stands.|
Soldiers were stationed at Fort Seward between 1871 and 1877 for the purpose of protecting the railroad construction crews and homesteaders from hostile Sioux Indians as well as to enforce territorial law under the direction of federal marshals. (North Dakota did not gain statehood until 1889.) Fort Seward was abandoned in 1877 when the threat from hostile attacks had subsided and military presence in the Jamestown area became nothing more than records in history books.
Real people lived and served here; Captain John H. Pattcrsoti, Second Lieutenant Palmer Tilton, First Sargent James Criffen. Privates William Brannon, John Cronin, Cain Mahoncy, Edward Taque and hospital matron Mrs. Ida Sadler, were all stationed at Fort Scward. The memories and lifestyles of these individuals from North Dakota's history live on portrayed by members of Fort Seward's 20th Regimental Infantry.
20th Infantry members share a keen interest in local history and arc dedicated to preserving the
heritage of the soldiers and support personnel who lived at Fort Seward.
Each member of the 20th Infantry strive to present an accurate re-enactment of personalities of the 1870's military personnel or civilian employees in actions, uniform and accouterments. The arms used by the group arc authentic, .45/70 trapdoor rifles and the clothing and equipment is cither authentic or historically accurate reproductions.
The group has three reproduction 12 pound mountain howitzer cannons which are used to demonstrate how the Infantry utilized artillary while on campaign. The 20th has a considerable amount of additional equipment from an escort wagon and an ambulance wagon, to officer tents, which allows the grout) to establish a large campaign camp to fully demonstrate how the military lived while on a campaign on the northern plains
A semi-tractor-trailer rig is owned by the group to transport the equipment to its various functions throughout the state. Recently, to help celebrate North Dakota's Centennial, the group has been designated the Governor's Battery, which gives the 20th Infantry unique opportunities to participate in numerous official centennial celebrations by marching in parades, firing cannon salutes and providing living history demonstrations by pitching an 1870's period campaign camp. Maximum participation in centennial celebrations throughout the upper midwest is the 20th Infantry's goal.
| The group is comprised of not only soldiers, but other typical military support personnel such as
launderesses and nurses, adding accurate flair to the group's performances.|
Over the past 10 years, the 20th Infantry has grown into one of the largest and best equipped military reenactment/living history groups in the upper midwest.
Individual members of the group visit school classrooms and other groups to provide educational experiences for young and old alike. These appearances generally include a discussion of the time period, a view of the lifestyles of the soldiers, and a detailed look at the uniform and accouterments of the time period. Accurate preservation of the 1870's military way of life is what the 20th Infantry is all about.
If your community or organization interested in a parade performance, a living history demonstration, or cannon drill to add to your celebration, please contact the 20th Infantry, we would be happy to consider your request. Because of the amount of equipment involved, the group does require that travel costs be reimbursed. Performances can be tailored to minimize cost.
The 20th Infantry is interested in acquiring new members as well and should you have an interest in becoming involved in the organization, contact one of the members for more information, they will be happy to provide you with answers to all your questions.