On-line Book
Book Cover
Cover Page


Table of Contents





Brief History

Gila River


Heart Mountain







Tule Lake

Isolation Centers

Add'l Facilities

Assembly Centers

DoJ and
US Army Facilities



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Confinement and Ethnicity:
Barbed wire divider
An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord

clip art

Chapter 17 (continued)
Department of Justice and U.S. Army Facilities

Department of Justice Internment Camps
Fort Lincoln, North Dakota

Fort Lincoln Internment Camp
Figure 17.22. Fort Lincoln Internment Camp.
(from Fox 1996)
Known today as the United Tribes Technical College, the one-time Fort Lincoln Internment Camp lies five miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. The brick buildings which are presently used by the college were built in 1903 by the army as a military base. In the 1930s Fort Lincoln became the state headquarters of the CCC, which put up numerous prefabricated wooden buildings at the fort. During World War II, the CCC barracks buildings and two brick army barracks were fenced and used to house internees (Bismarck Tribune 8/4/41; Vyzralek n.d.; Figures 17.22 and 17.23).

The first internees held at Fort Lincoln were Italian and German seamen who had been on Italian and German commercial ships in U.S. waters in 1939 when the war started in Europe. Eight-hundred Italians arrived in April, but soon left for Fort Missoula, Montana. Shortly after the first Japanese American Issei arrived in 1942, they were transferred to other camps, leaving the Germans the sole internees there until February 1945. At that time 650 Japanese Americans were brought in, about half of them so-called "recalcitrants" from camps at Tule Lake, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. These internees had renounced their American citizenship and were to be sent to Japan after the war. The rest of the new arrivals were Japanese nationals to be repatriated after the war (Fox 1996).

Within the camp the Japanese and German barracks were separated, but the internees were allowed to mingle. Use of the camp laundry was alternated, and each group had separate areas of the mess hall and kitchen, divided initially by a partition, and then only by a line on the floor. The camp hospital had fifty beds, and was staffed by two part-time Public Health Service doctors and two nurses. In addition, both the Japanese and Germans maintained their own infirmaries and dispensaries with internee doctors (Fox 1996).

Guard tower at the Fort Lincoln Internment Camp
Figure 17.23. Guard tower at the Fort Lincoln Internment Camp.
Army barracks at Fort Lincoln today
Figure 17.24. Army barracks at Fort Lincoln today.

After the war, Fort Lincoln was designated the headquarters for the Garrison Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving as the planning center for the Garrison Dam Project. The Fort was declared surplus by the U.S. Army in 1966, remodeled, and used as a Job Corps Training Center in 1968. When the Corps closed, United Tribes obtained the use of the property as its campus.

Fort Lincoln Internment Camp
Figure 17.25. Fort Lincoln Internment Camp.
(click image for larger size (~85K) )

Today most of the old brick army buildings are still present, including the barracks used to house internees (Figure 17.23 and 17.24). However, all of the wooden CCC buildings have been removed and there is now married-student housing in the former soccer field and CCC barracks area (Figure 17.25). A stone entry gateway is at the college entrance along State Highway 1804, one-quarter mile south of the Bismarck Airport (Figures 17.26 and 17.27). Articles in the local newspaper indicate that some former internees have returned to visit the site (Bismarck Tribune September 27, 1979 and August 2, 1996). There is no marker or memorial at the site.

North half of stone entry gate at Fort Lincoln
Figure 17.26. North half of stone entry gate at Fort Lincoln.
South half of stone entry gate at Fort Lincoln
Figure 17.27. South half of stone entry gate at Fort Lincoln.

Continued Continue


Last Modified: Fri, Sep 1 2000 07:08:48 pm PDT

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