Alfred Howe Terry (American National Biography)

John W. Bailey, "Terry, Alfred Howe," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
With the Civil War over, [Alfred] Terry received high praise from his superior officers and was rewarded with a position in the regular army. The brigadier general gained the highest postwar rank of any non-West Point graduate. A tall, imposing figure, he conducted himself as a gentleman at all times. During 1865-1866 he commanded the Department of Virginia, doing reconstruction work as the military took over many former civilian duties in law enforcement and governmental matters. He returned to the South in 1869 and served for three more years as commander of the Department of the South, carrying out similar duties.

Terry's main work was in the northern Plains as commanding general of the Department of Dakota, which included Minnesota, Dakota Territory, and Montana Territory. During the late 1860s and for the next two decades, his presence was a major force in the region. In his first years there he developed the frontier fort system at strategic locations in his department and tried to ensure the safety of the transportation routes into Montana, where gold had been discovered in 1863. Also during this time he negotiated with the Sioux Indians. He dealt with the American Indians in a just, humanitarian manner and always fought to uphold the law. ….These efforts combined into the Treaty of 1868-1869, when the Plains Indians agreed to further restrict their living areas to western Dakota in the North and Indian Territory in the South.
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