This post was located 24 miles west of what is now Great Falls, Montana. It stood in front of an ancient Anishinabe road going to the mountains where present day "Lincoln", Montana is located. It was a part of the road named the Mullan road, which commenced back in Minnesota and not at where present day Fort Benton, Montana sits. At Fort Benton, the Indian road branched off, with one road (the Whoop-up Trail) going up to where present day Lethbridge, Alberta is, while the other continued following the Missouri River until reaching the Great Falls, Montana region. From there, it followed the Missouri River, to the mountains just south of present day Cascade, Montana. Just before reaching the mountains, the road possibly made a westward turn going on in the direction where "Lincoln", Montana was reached by the same said road. Either the turn this Indian road made to reach what is now the "Lincoln", Montana region, occurred south of Cascade or where the Sun River enters the Missouri River in the Great Falls, Montana region.
Fort Shaw was supposedly established in 1867 but what white historians have written about Fort Shaw may resemble that of a mirage. Fort Shaw may have first been a trading post which was allowed to be built by the whites, with Anishinabe approval of course. However, before the post was established in 1867, it was the location of an unwanted Christian mission named St. Peters. Originally, St. Peters Mission was located near Choteau, Montana in 1859 and was then known as Priest's Butte. It was relocated in 1860 to where present day Fort Shaw, Montana is located. That comes to three towns in Montana which were established by white Christians. That is more than enough reason for Native Americans to stay away from Christianity. The other town established by white Christians in Montana i know of, is Stevensville which was originally known as St. Mary's Mission. Another possible white town established by white Christians in Montana, is Ulm. In 1866, St. Peters Mission was supposedly located very near where present day Ulm, Montana is located.
Starting in 1860, the whites commenced to sail the Missouri River from St. Louis to Fort Benton. They may have been allowed to use their steam boats to sail to the Fort Benton region by an earlier treaty reached between the Anishinabe Nation and the United States. I'm referring to the Stevens Treaties of 1855. However, Anishinabe ogimak became extremely alarmed by the large number of whites arriving at Fort Benton then gathered together in large wagon trains to travel to the white settlements in southwestern Montana. These wagon trains usually numbered in the dozens and tended to have anywhere from 50 to over 100 men armed with revolvers, then machine guns after 1862. Brave Anishinabe soldiers were ordered to watch the wagon trains and attack them. Many a brave Indian soldier was killed while defending their land against a people who dared not deal with them in a brave, honorable, and lawful manner. In fact, far more Indians were killed in this ignored war in northern Montana, between 1860 and 1880, than whites.
And Anishinabe soldiers were fighting the white invaders and their Indian allies in southwestern Montana, southern Idaho, and British Columbia up to 1868, as well. On April 6, 1866 Anishinabe soldiers attacked several whites near St. Peter's Mission which then was about half a mile from present day Ulm, Montana. They killed at least three white men and possibly (i'm not certain) 15 Indians who probably had been converted to Christianity. On April 7, 1866 Father Giorda, who was not harmed, gathered the remaining inhabitants of that unwanted mission and fled to Helena. The region between Fort Benton, Cascade, and "Lincoln" was extremely dangerous during the time period of 1860-1880. It remained unsettled by the whites out of fear of Anishinabe attacks. In fact, all of Montana was a dangerous location during those years.
The ancient Indian road (known now as Mullan road) was diverted north, away from the Great Falls region, to avoid the 10,000s of Anishinabek living there. It was extended to where highway 287 enters the Fort Shaw and Simms region, going towards the mountains which lead to "Lincoln", Montana but made a turn going back towards the Cascade, Montana region, then through the pass going into the mountains which lead to Helena. Another road was probably built by the whites or possibly the Indians, which led from the Fort Shaw and Simms region, to the pass which enters the mountains going to where "Lincoln", Montana is. Today, highway 200 follows that road. After highway 200 enters the mountains going towards "Lincoln", a branch of highway 200 branches off from highway 200, then leads to Canyon Creek then to Helena, while highway 200 continues on to "Lincoln" then on to the Missoula, Montana region.
That is where the whites would concentrate a strategic military plan. We know St. Peter's Mission was located where Fort Shaw is now and probably through a treaty agreement with the Anishinabe Nation, the United States was allowed to build a trading post there in 1867. From research, the exact date the military fortification of Fort Shaw may have been established, is the year of 1874 which coincides with General Custers 1874 Black Hills Expedition. Supposedly Custer was to lead a force of 1,200 soldiers and civilians into the Black Hills of South Dakota, to find a location to construct a fort, find a route to the southwest, and find the excrement (gold and silver) of the cowardly gods. Strangely they left Bismarck, North Dakota (then Fort "Lincoln") on July 2, 1874, then marched south towards the Black Hills. They marched in the wrong direction. The Black Hills were a part of the huge Anishinabe Reservation the United States set aside for the Anishinabe people in 1868, after the Snake River War and Red Clouds War ended. However, the Anishinabe people of Montana were still free at the time (1874).
Supposedly Custer and his soldiers returned to Fort "Lincoln" on August 30, 1874. I have read a book in which the writer tells a story about some Crow Indians (they were really Anishinabek) arriving to a location of an irrigation ditch (the six whites were obviously in the process of establishing a homestead) about two miles from Fort Shaw, in 1874. According to the writer, the 12 Indian soldiers were very angry at them and commenced to demand from them, where is the Peigan camp (really it was "why was that fort (Fort Shaw) there"), after the white men walked up a 200 foot hill and became brave.
One of the white them told them there is the Peigan camp you are looking for. It was an insult remark i have yet to decipher. That same white man also told the 12 Indian soldiers about the white soldiers commencing their target practice shooting just outside the forts (Fort Shaw or the Peigan camp) walls, below the hill they stood on. Some how the whites snuck in and quickly expanded the trade post and stationed scores of white soldiers there. They were stationed there to protect the scores of illegal white settlers going from Fort Benton to the "Lincoln", Montana region. It did not stop the war. It was from Fort Shaw where the Americans attacked the Anishinabe civilized settlements in the Great Falls region, on January 23, 1877. The Marias River Massacre is considered to have been the deadliest massacre of Indians committed by the Americans. And it is one of the most ignored. Anyway, the American military fortification "Fort Shaw" was probably established in 1874 and not 1867. Fort Benton was sold to the United States by the white fur trade company which owned it, in 1865. Several years later the United States commenced to station their soldiers there. It intensified the war, or initiated a new war which was really an extension of the Snake River War and Red Clouds War.