A History of Fort Duchesne, Utah, and the Role of its First Commanding Officer, Frederick W. Benteen
Brigham Young University
This thesis is a study of the events that occurred during the first five months of Fort Duchesne, Utah, between August and December 1886. The primary focus is on Frederick William Benteen, one of the heroes who fought and survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The three Ute tribes--Uintah, White River, and Uncompahgne--are also discussed as they pertain to Fort Duchesne.
A difficulty arose the first day a site was chosen at Fort Duchesne. Surprisingly, it did not involve the Indians, but the post commander. The central problem is what caused the long delay in building the fort. This study presents several possible theories as to why troops were still billeted in tents during the winter months of December and January. These include Major Benteen's inexperience as a construction engineer commander and his insatiable drinking habit he had acquired.