Telegraph in Miles City or on Fort Keogh 1880
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Posted by Robert M. Starr (+6) 21 days ago
I am looking for information about the existence (or lack thereof) of a telegraph in Miles City or at Fort Keogh in 1880. There was a military telegraph at Fort Ellis, near Bozeman, and a telegraph from Helena to Bozeman in 1880, but I haven't been able to learn anything about Miles City or Fort Keogh. Any information will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Robert M. Starr
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Posted by David Schott (+17069) 20 days ago
This may be a clue:

In June 1878, the 9th U. S. Infantry which consisted of 520 men and was led by Lieutenant Colonel Luther P. Bradley was given the mission to construct a telegraph line. The line was needed to tie together Berger communications between the territories Deadwood and Fort Keogh. Bradley and his men left Fort Laramie and followed the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage route to the Black Hills. They traveled for 30 days and found the area where the built Camp Devin. Although the camp was short-lived, the men succeeded in establishing a telegraph line that improved communications between the forts and white settlements. It opened the way for northeast Wyoming to become domesticated.

https://www.theclio.com/entry/75305
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Posted by milestown (+311) 20 days ago
What time frame did they send signals from Signal Butte and relay the messages into South Dakota ?
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Posted by David Schott (+17069) 20 days ago
Here is a link to the Congressional Record of the 45th Congress 2nd session regarding Senate Bill 864 to pay for the installation of the telegraph line. April 9, 1878.

https://digitalcommons.la...nserialset
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Posted by David Schott (+17069) 20 days ago
Wire Communication

Telegraphic communication not only played an important role in the life of a newspaper, it played even a more important role in the life of an Army post. Soldiers from Fort Keogh first ran a line from the Fort to Bismarck. This line was completed in April 1878. This line sustained the Post until hostile forces had been somewhat subdued. In September 1878, serious construction got underway on a communications network. First, several companies under the command of Lieutenant William Bowen set to work and completed a line from Terry Point (a supply center located at the mouth of the Big Horn River) to Fort Buford, Dakota Territory. A month later Company D, Fifth Infantry, under Lieutenant H. K. Bailey, was sent to construct a line between Fort Keogh and Fort Buford. Company D was joined in its efforts by Company H, Fifth Infantry during November 1878, with Lieutenant Logan in command. Troop B, Second Cavalry, under Lieutenant M. E. Brien, started a line from Fort Keogh to Deadwood in the same month.

The problems faced by Lieutenant Brien, as well as the solutions given, reflect those of the other officers and men who constructed the telegraph line around Fort Keogh in those days. Brien's party had thirty-eight enlisted men and six skilled civilian workers. They started the job with seventy-seven miles of wire, all that Fort Keogh could supply. Conditions in the field were hard, resulting in the discharge of half the civilians after two days out. Soldiers such as Private Stage of Company "B" did a great deal of the pole climbing. In ten days they had used up all the wire and had traveled seventy-seven miles out from Fort Keogh. Several men were sent to Deadwood for more wire as the troops remaining went back over old ground and installed more insulators. After the Quartermaster delivered thirty additional miles of wire to the Little Missouri, work on stringing the wire resumed. Indians were seen by his troops near Belle Fourche, Dakota Territory and so Lieutenant Brien left the line after stringing all the wire he had and pushed on toward Deadwood. There he found eighty-six miles of wire, 650 brackets and 360 insulators. With his fresh supply of material, Brien started to construct the line now back from Deadwood toward where he had left off. The pine timber in the badlands slowed his work a great deal as reels had to be fed out and wire chopped. This forced the using of connectors, thus slowing the process. In open country thirteen or fourteen miles a day was average, but the pace dropped to two miles in the pines. As Brien reached the end of his supplies, he failed to find any more waiting at Camp Ruklen and so he pushed on to Spearfish at the west edge of the Black Hills and was informed by telegraph there that more material was coming via the stage. Insulators were short in numbers so every other pole was insulated and after the supplies arrived, troops were sent back to finish the job. When the job was completed, Lieutenant Brien was informed that part of the line had been torn up. He was ordered to return down the line to Deadwood where he found that teamsters, while passing under the wire, had stood on the wagon seat and torn the wire down. Brien decided to move the line fifty feet to prevent temptations and then marched on to Deadwood to resupply and maintain his animals. On his return to Fort Keogh, Brien inspected the line and as needed he nailed on brackets where lost, replaced split wire, tamped and banked poles and tested the line. It was reported back to Fort Keogh that there was an average of twenty poles to the mile. Thus the Lieutenant completed the job he had begun some thirty-six days earlier.

By the end of 1879 Fort Keogh was in telegraphic communication with Bismarck, Deadwood, Fort Custer, Fort Ellis, Helena, Fort Shaw, Fort Benton and Fort Assinniboine. Troops from Fort Keogh had run 650 miles of telegraph lines, most of which was used by the general public in 1880.


SOURCE:

ABSTRACT
FORT KEOGH: CUTTING EDGE OF A CULTURE
By
Josef James Warhank
December 1983


https://www.ars.usda.gov/...tkeogh.pdf
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 18 days ago
And Fort Keogh had a heliograph AND the first telephones in eastern Montana. Gen. Miles LOVED technology.
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