The Dakota Territory’s Indian Wars During the Civil War
Morris van de Camp
Part 1 of 2 (Part 2 here)
Wilmot Robertson wrote that “[t]he decline of the American Majority began with the political and military struggle between North and South.” This is indeed true. That conflict turned family members into bitter enemies and provided openings for non-American groups such as Jews and other foreign peoples to hijack the country.
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The Dakota Territory’s Indian Wars During the Civil War, Part 2
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Documenting the Decline
An excellent book on this subject is Lincoln and the Sioux Uprising of 1862 by Hank H. Cox. A few tidbits concerning the behavior of the Indians, the soldiers, and the homesteaders:.
page 51: One Indian, Carrothers reported, seized “ a sweet and pretty child of two, and beat her savagely over the head with a violin case, smashing her head horribly out of shape. Then he took her by her feet and dashed her brains out against the wheel of the wagon, spattering her mother with blood and brains. Another fiend took the nine months old boy, hacked off his limbs with a tomahawk, and threw the pieces at the mother. Then they made a big fire and tossed featherbed, woman and mangled children into the flames.
Some of the worst atrocities were committed by followers of Red Middle Voice who appears to have been something of a maniac. His warriors took perverse pleasure in hacking off the limbs of victims before they died. They nailed children to doors, running spikes through their arms and legs and swinging them back and forth until they expired. At one cabin they killed a homesteader and his two sons in a field and murdered his wife and two youngest children in their house. Their thirteen year old daughter was stripped naked and raped by twelve Indians.
page 148: Mankato was killed by a cannonball, which witnesses say he refused to dodge. His body was taken from the field, but another fourteen or fifteen dead warriors lay scattered on the ground, and most of them were scalped by the soldiers. [General] Sibley was offended by this and threatened dire repercussions if any more scalping occurred. “The bodies of the dead,” he said, “even of a savage enemy shall not be subjected to indignities by civilized and Christian men.” Supposedly this work was done by the Renville Rangers, who were half-breeds and thus at least partly heir to Indian battle traditions.
And even in the twentieth century, there was this incident, described on page 199:
In June 1919 Edward Gleek, living near New Ulm, cut down a large white oak tree that broke in two as it fell. Inside, he found the mummified corpse of, according to his journal, Jean La Rue. When the first soldiers arrived in New Ulm in 1862, they had fired their rifles in an apparent act of exuberance that terrified many residents who feared it was a Sioux attack. La Rue grabbed his rifle and other belongings and ran to a hollow tree to hide. Apparently he got wedged in, was unable to extricate himself, and his cries for help went unheard. With his body were found his rifle, bullet pouch, powder horn and $783.50, a not inconsiderable sum in those days. He had written: “Can not get out surely must die. If ever found, send me and all my money to my mother, Suzanne La Rue, near Tarascan, in the province of Bouches Du Rhone, France.” Efforts to contact his family were futile.
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