In the summer of 1862, after year's of broken treaty promises and late payments that fueled growing tension and conflict some Dakota began an attempt to forcibly reclaim their homeland. After attacking the Lower Sioux Agency on August 18th at the beginning of the U.S. Dakota War the Indians moved toward New Ulm. In their path stood a small settlement known as Milford. There, unprepared for battle, 53 of Milford's residents were killed in a single day. As farms burned, the survivors of those families fled raising the alarm for the citizens of New Ulm about what lay ahead.
As a small group of soldiers and the many refugees who had fled to Fort Ridgely for protection fought off a determined attack twice, another group of warriors headed to the nearby town of New Ulm. Our tour took us to New Ulm where we visited the New Ulm Artillery Battery. This group participated in American Civil War battles except it wasn't
Citizens of the town defended it for two days building barricades in the center of the town while much of the town burned.
Members of our tour group including Mrs. T. on the right and John Grabko our leader stand behind a facsimile of the barricade ready to defend New Ulm. Unfortunately, I was injured in the defense, tripping over a curb and falling flat on my face on the concrete sidewalk! Many of the settlers were of German ancestry and later we met one of them. His name is Herman the German and he stands on a hill overlooking the town.
Later that afternoon we traveled to an area known as the Birch Coulee battle site. There on an open prairie a burial party from General Sibleys force, that relieved both Fort Ridgely and New Ulm, camped on an ill chosen site only to be surrounded by a large Dakota force. Take a look as we did at the site.
A thirty six hour fight saw the surrounded troop hold their own until the arrival of Sibleys army. The battles that followed ended the uprising. As the Dakota were rounded up in their camps, many of those who had not participated in the war and even defended white settlers were marched off to Fort Snelling and interned there, later to be sent south to reservations in Iowa and Nebraska. Others fled west into the Dakotas and north into Canada. Drumhead military courts convicted over five hundred Dakota of murder and given the death penalty. Abraham Lincoln was to determine their fate. That story next......
Interesting post, TB. Getting up close and personal with concrete is not too pleasant - I've done it a couple of times. Hope you're okay.ReplyDelete
Very interesting history lesson, TB. Sorry you had such an encounter with the sidewalk, though. :-)ReplyDelete
Interesting. And something I know nothing about. Sorry you were the injured warrior.ReplyDelete
Hope you're okay after your trip (in both senses of the word). I know just how you feel. Love the photos and history.ReplyDelete
It's a sad bit of U.S. history from both perspectives but definitely worth learning about, which I think is necessary from a healing standpoint. Thanks for sharing what you learned, TB. I hope your encounter with the sidewalk didn't leave any permanent scars.ReplyDelete
Just south across the IA border is a small town named Sibley, wonder if there was any connection?ReplyDelete
Sir, if you hit your head, take yourself to the doctor for further examination. Many concussions occur without our knowledge or symptoms, but it's best to get professional help.ReplyDelete
Hope you got a purple heart for your spill. When we learn of the blood shed on all fronts, settler, native and soldier and all because of a few persons greed, it is so disheartening.ReplyDelete
This is a slice of history I knew nothing about. Thanks for these posts. Be back for more.
I have taken many a fall, most often on ice, and I don't recall a sidewalk one, but the deal is, pay attention to where you are walking,ReplyDelete
you will be happy you did.
Jo, Stella and Zkhat
Wait just a minute here, you didn't post a photo of the wounded warrior? That will go down in history as the Battle of the Sidewalk.ReplyDelete
Hope you are doing okay!
That is indeed a troubling part of our history. I'll bet it was interesting to be right where much of it took place.ReplyDelete
I, too, know from experience that falling on one's face, on a sidewalk, can be more painful than you might expect. I think it aged me, at least temporarily. I hope you bounce back!
Thanks for another installment in this very interesting story.ReplyDelete
I hope you were not injured too badly! I am not surprised the residents here are of German descent. New Ulm is definitely a German name. I visited Neu Ulm in Germany and have fond memories of it to this day. And you know there are a lot of New Ulms in the U.S. too. Hmmm, just now thought of that.ReplyDelete
Another bit of our history that I knew nothing about. I am reading "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks right now so it even made your piece more interesting.ReplyDelete
they certainly had no where to hide on that battle field. I really enjoy old forts and battle grounds from the past. in Savannah we have 3 old forts, I spent many happy hours in all 3 of them... i think you would love Fort pulaski.ReplyDelete
Did you teach/learn about this war in school? It was ignored in my High School years...I never knew about it until a few years ago.ReplyDelete
Interesting post TB and I hope you are okay after your misstep:)
I really like the D akota prayer. This is such a sad time in American history, tragic for the Native Americans and for the white settlers, too. If our government had dealth with the Native Americans more fairly, I think much of the bloodshed could have been avoided.ReplyDelete
When I first read this and saw the name General Sibley, I immediately thought Henry Hopkins Sibley, a Confederate general, known for his operations in the west, but not as far as I knew in Minnesota. Looking him up, I also found the name Henry Hastings Sibley, very-much tied into the history of Minnesota (and a great story in himself).ReplyDelete
I see that both men's anc estors came from Massachusetts, Henry Hastings being born in 1811 in Detroit (probably moved from there after the British captured the place in the War of 1812). Henry Hopkins was born in 1816 in Louisiana.
I believe they must have been related.