The Frontier Army of the Dakota (FAD) is an umbrella group of Indian Wars Period reenactors (including cavalry, infantry, artillery, scouts, laundresses and campfollowers) that was formed as a non-profit organization in North Dakota in 1985 to organize and coordinate events in the state. FAD has since grown to include 200 families units of IWP reenactors from coast to coast, border to border, Canada and Japan, with a data base of over 500 reenactors and has a 501-C(3) status.
FAD is a family centered organization and encourages participation from children to adults. Women portray a variety of individuals from laundresses to officers' wives and participate in daily living demonstrations such as buttermaking, laundry and cooking. The clothing they wear are reproductions of the time period.
Members have also donated many hours of living history to promote such historic places as Fort Abraham Lincoln, ND, (Custer's last post); Fort Laramie, WY; Fort Buford, ND (site of Sitting Bull's surrender); Fort Concho and Fort McKavett, Texas; Fort Sisseton, SD, and many others.
Being able to draw from such a huge reservoir of reenactors, period equipment and accouterments, the FAD has been instrumental in furnishing horses, reenactors and equipment for frontier movies and TV shows. Members have appeared in such productions as Dances With Wolves, North and South Book II, Gettysburg, Son of the Morning Star, Crazy Horse, Return to Lonesome Dove, Geronimo, Buffalo Soldiers, Buffalo Girls, Far and Away and others.
This sepia tone photo was taken by
FAD member, Mark Brown,
FAD members portrayed both infantry and
also organize living history encampments at frontier posts or for community
events. Organizations from within the FAD have participated at national
events, including the Buffalo Bill Wild West Centennial, Cheyenne Frontier
Days, Cody Centennial and the Rose Bowl Parade.
In addition to regular and special living history encampments, the FAD also sponsors the annual Conference and Military Ball, hosted by member organizations on a rotation basis.
The organization communicates to its membership primarily through its quarterly publication, the Post Dispatch. Members share information and resources to improve authenticity among the ranks and to help organize new groups.