U.S. Dakota War

By: Eva, Maggie, and Mackenzie

Tensions between the traditional and farm Dakota

The traditional Dakota were really angry at the farm Dakota due to the fact that the farm Dakota abandoned the Dakota ways of life. Dakota people had been living their way of life for years and the farm Dakota pretty much just trashed that.
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Lower Sioux agency

Two Indian agencies was established near the Dakota reservations and the Lower Sioux agency was where the Dakota made their first organized attack on the US government.

Government workers, Traders, and Missionaries

The Government workers tried to change the Dakota ways of life and pretty much just wanted them to suffer.

The Traders were their for money through the treaties

The Missionaries tried to change the Dakota religion (Stupid Steven Riggs.)

Battles (Dates)

  • August 18th, 1862- U.S. Dakota war begins
  • August 19th, 1862- First strike on New Ulm
  • August 20th-22nd, 1862- Battles at Fort Ridgely
  • August 23rd, 1862- Second strike on New Ulm
  • September 2nd, 1862- Battle at Birch Coulee
  • September 23rd, 1862- Battle at Wood Lake (Final battle, some Dakota surrender and others fled.)


Their were two main reasons of why the U.S. Dakota war started. Number one, their was not enough food for the Dakota forcing them to go hungry and slowly starve. The U.S. government never kept their promises and pretty much watched them starve. The second reason is because of the spark, this is what really started the war. Four Dakota warriors killed five settlers because they wanted eggs.

During the war

  • August 17th- Four Dakota warriors kill five settlers and Little Crow leads the Dakota into war
  • August 18th- The Dakota open fire on the Lower Sioux agency.
  • August 19th- The Upper agency is evacuated. Alexander Ramsey and Henry Sibley lead a force against the Dakota and the Dakota take their first strike on New Ulm
  • August 20th-22nd- The battles at Fort Ridgely took place
  • August 23rd- Second strike on New Ulm
  • August 25th- Missionaries reach Hudson safely
  • August 26th- Dakota men create the Dakota peace party
  • August 28th- The force (Led by Sibley) reaches Fort Ridgely
  • September 2nd- Battle of Birch Coulee
  • September 3rd-4th- A Dakota force fights at Acton and Sibley finds out that the Dakota are holding hostages
  • September 18th- Sibley's force leave Fort Ridgely
  • September 23rd- Battle at Wood Lake
  • September 24th- Little Crow and his followers flee
  • September 26th- The Dakota Peace Party surrender


Children were left to be orphaned, Mankato and St.Paul became ad hoc refugee camps, and disease started spreading fast! New Ulm had it the worst though.
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Dakota is a word for "ally" and is most likely a reference to the Oceti Sakowin

Forced marches and imprisonment

1,700 Dakota people were forced to march to the imprisonment camps. Despite the guards "protecting" the Dakota, angry settlers tried their best to torment the Dakota. The Dakota traveled 100 miles until they finally reached the camp on November 23rd, 1862. The imprisonment camps were horrible, the Dakota were not well fed and most of them died in the camp.
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Trials and hangings

All the trails were unfair, on November 5, the commission completed its work. 392 prisoners were tried, 303 were sentenced to death, and 16 were given prison terms. Lincoln then made his final decision, and forwarded a list of 38 names to Sibley. On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hanged at Mankato.

Exile/Internment camps

In May of 1863 1,300 Dakota were loaded onto steamboats and sent to Crow Creek reservation. Crowded onto the boats and weakened by imprisonment, many died on the voyage. In the first six months at Crow Creek more than 200 Dakota people died, most of them children.
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