Battle Lines vs. Power Lines: Part 3 - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Battle Lines vs. Power Lines: Part 3

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It was here on the Killdeer Battlefield that a U.S. military force commanded by General Alfred Sully attacked several groups of the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota Sioux nations. And it is also the site Professor Tom Isern has chosen for a historical study.

"Killdeer Mountain was chosen because it is the climactic engagement of the Dakota War. I commonly refer to it as the Gettysburg of the plains. Not because of the numbers involved but because of the fate of the sovereign nations are in the battles in this fall day in 1864," says Isern.

Isern says that the growth in North Dakota prompted the study.

"With the rapid pace of development in Western North Dakota there's a sense that we should get a handle on what went down on this battlefield. It's money to figure out what happened where."

The study will be conducted in two parts, starting with looking at historical documents.

"Mostly it's a historical study with historical documents that go all the way back to commanders reports and enlisted men's diaries. And at some point we will ask permission to go on the ground as much as we can and look around. And try and figure out what people would have done in this place given what we know from the documents," says Isern.
 
Isern says he thinks that Basin Electric and the historical study can co-exist, but it could mean moving the transmission line.

"I don't question the need for energy infrastructure in Western North Dakota. The route now specified runs right across the most historic site in all of North America. And that might be a matter of debate I believe it is. But I'm not sure it needs to go exactly in that place."

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