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"US–Dakota War of 1862" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2022 4:00 p.m. PST

Though the war that ranged across southwestern Minnesota in 1862 between settler-colonists and a faction of Dakota people lasted for six weeks, its causes were decades in the making. Its effects are still felt today…


Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2022 6:50 p.m. PST

Actually it lasted much longer than six weeks. There were punitive expeditions sent out into the Dakotas in 1863 and 1864. War did not officially end until 1865. I wrote a book on this called Columns of Vengeance.

Ryan T17 Mar 2022 6:25 p.m. PST

Grattan54, the mention of your book caught my attention.

The remains of several fortified encampments are located in Manitoba to the northwest of Winnipeg. At least one of them is said to have been built after a raid on a Dakota refugee camp in late April or early May 1864 by Chippewa (Anishinabe) bounty hunters from Minnesota. Six Dakota were killed outright and several later succumbed to wounds.



The only documentation of this event I have been able to find is an account in the 10 May 1864 of the Nor'Wester newspaper, although the article attributes the attack to local natives.

Does your study have any further information on this occurrence or have you come across any other sources that might be useful in finding more details on just who were those Minnesota "bounty hunters"?

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2022 9:13 a.m. PST

Not directly to your question. A number of Sioux did pass into Canada as the war went on. One Sioux leader Inkpaduta, also wrote a book on him, did live in the region near Manitoba and has descendants living there now.

Ryan T22 Mar 2022 11:31 a.m. PST

My understanding is that Inkpaduta ended up in the Turtle Mountain area of western Manitoba.

But thank you giving me the incentive to look at my 1864 Red River notes again. I am looking into the question whether the raid on the Flee Island area encampment was carried out by Red River Settlement area Chippewa or a group from the Red Lake area.

The other point of interest I have concerns Hatch's Minnesota Cavalry Battalion. It was formed up with Companies A, B, C, and D at Fort Snelling and St. Paul in July / September 1863. It advanced to Pembina in October / November 1863 and remained on the border through the winter (my sympathies) until it was withdrawn to Fort Abercrombie in May 1864.

Company D had a percentage of its numbers drawn from the settlement of St. Joseph, now Walhalla ND. They most likely were drawn in by the Captain of Co. D, Hugh Donaldson, who was originally from Quebec, but by 1861 was the postmaster at Pembina and represented the Red River region in the Dakota Territory House of Representatives.

Jack Bumsted, Trials and Tribulations, The Red River Settlement and the Emergence of Manitoba 1821-1870, (2003) p. 167, states that "Despite the suppression of the main uprising, the Americans continued to organize volunteers to fight the Sioux. One such effort to organize an independent battalion, by a man named Edwin Hatch, would include a company of Red River people, some of whom had enlisted as "Mounted Rangers". A subsequent "Red River Company" was recruited by Captain Hugh S. Donaldson, and joined the Americans."

A look at the roster of Co. D shows that there were 144 enlistees from greater Minnesota, 2 from Pembina, and 35 from St. Joseph. I suspect these latter 37 men comprise the "Red River Company" mentioned above. It is interesting to note that of these 37 men 19 of them deserted before the end of the autumn of 1864.

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