Those Who Served

The following are tombstone photographs and biographies of some who served during the U.S.-Dakota War. They are not shown alphabetically, so this list shows whose tombstones are pictured. Continue to scroll down to see Curtis Dahlin’s detailed lists of Minnesota Soldiers and Militia Killed During the Dakota Uprising by unit as well as his conclusion and summary of the military’s involvement with the war. An alphabetical list of Those Who Served can be accessed here by clicking on this PDF document: Those Who Served page.pdf

George Gideon

George Gideon was an 18-year-old soldier in Capt. Richard Strout's Company B of the Ninth Minnesota Regiment. Early on September 3, they were attacked by a substantial Dakota force at Acton, in western Meeker County. Strout's men were ordered to charge through the Dakota's lines, which they did, and a running battle ensued. Gideon was among those killed, and 23 were wounded in the running battle back to Hutchinson. Gideon's body was retrieved and buried several days later. For more on his story, here is the findagrave memorial created by Curtis Dahlin: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=gideon&GSiman=1&GScid=83868&GRid=34127759&. George is buried in Woodside Cemetery, Shorewood, Hennepin County, MN.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Mathew Ahern 

Inscription: "Father Mathew Ahern, Aug. 22, 1862." (Although the date cited is August 22, he very likely was killed on August 23, as the Dakota did not attack on August 22, and no casualties are recorded for that date. His gravestone rests beside two of his fellow Tigers, one Luke Smith, and the other unknown.) Mathew was the member of the volunteer militia force called the LeSueur Tigers, No. 2 who aided in the defense of New Ulm on August 23, 1862. The defenders were able to hold on, although some 26 defenders, including Ahern, were killed. Those killed were buried in temporary graves in that part of New Ulm where the defenders had erected barricades. Most of these bodies were moved in October and early November 1862, and that was likely the case with Ahern. For more on his story, see Curtis Dahlin’s findagrave memorial: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=47099816&GRid=34664749&Mathew was buried in the Saint Thomas Cemetery, Saint Thomas, LeSueur County. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

David Holbrook  

Inscription: “To the Memory of David Holbrook Born in Kirkland Ohio Mar. 8, 1829 Son of David Holbrook, Sr. and Mary Howe of Derby Conn. Killed in the Sioux war of 1862 at the battle of Birch Coolie (sic) Sept. 2, 1862.” David and his wife Ellen lived in Belle Plaine, MN at the time of the uprising. He joined the Sibley burial party who were ambushed by the Indians at the Battle of Birch Coulee while camping on September 1. The Dakota kept them under siege for nearly 30 hours and casualties were heavy. David is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Belle Plaine. For more details on him, see Curtis Dahlin’s findagrave memorial: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=holbrook&GSfn=david+&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=25&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=34134451&df=all&. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Charles Flandrau 

Charles Flandrau was a respected and well-known lawyer in Traverse des Sioux when he was selected to head the forces to defend New Ulm, MN. As many as 2000 settlers had escaped to New Ulm after fleeing their homes from the Dakota attacks.  Although most of the town was burned, the defenders withstood two hotly contested battles on August 19 and August 23. The defenders in the August 19 skirmish were primarily people from New Ulm and the surrounding Brown County area, and the LeSueur Tigers aided in the defense on August 23. Much of the credit of these successes was given to honorary Colonel Flandrau for his leadership.  Flandrau’s likeness appears on the bas relief on the Defender’s Monument in New Ulm. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.


Lieutenant Timothy Sheehan 

Lt. Sheehan took over the command of Ft. Ridgely after Captain John Marsh had drowned at the Redwood Ferry. He organized the fort’s defense, making full use of the artillery and hastily constructed barricades. The first attack, led by Chief Little Crow and his 400 Dakota, was repulsed on August 20, and the second major attack on August 23 with 800 Dakota warriors, led by Little Crow, Big Eagle and Mankato, was also repelled. Sheehan’s illustrious military career is captured on his findagrave memorial created by Cindy Coffin at:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41155495. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery at St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Captain John Jones           

Sergeant Jones played perhaps the most pivotal role in the defense of Fort Ridgely. Because he was trained in the use of artillery, he also trained the members of Minnesota’s 5th Regiment, which proved to be invaluable in defending this difficult-to-defend fort.  After finding the cannons stuffed with rags, he wisely used them to disperse the Indians, thus preventing a charge on the fort. Jones was promoted to Captain and continued his military career with Sibley’s expeditions into Dakota Territory, commanding the Third Battery of Light Artillery. Cindy Coffin has prepared a memorial on findagrave at:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41162069. Jones is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Henry Hastings Sibley           

We would be remiss if we didn’t include the tombstone of the first elected Governor of Minnesota who later was commissioned by Governor Ramsey as Colonel in the state militia in charge of commanding the 1,400 volunteers in the suppression of the Sioux Uprising. His victory at the Battle of Wood Lake on September 23, 1862 defeated Little Crow and his warriors who then moved into Dakota Territory. Sibley’s biography and military career history is found on the findagrave memorial at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5968. He is buried in the Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Captain Hiram P. Grant  

Captain Grant served with the Sibley burial party and was among those who were ambushed in the Battle of Birch Coulee. That battle turned out to be the most deadly for the U.S. troops during the Dakota War. After a thirty hour siege, 13 men and 90 horses were dead, and 47 were severely wounded. Grant’s name is listed on the Birch Coulee Battlefield Monument as the commander at this battle, but historians acknowledge that Major Joseph R. Brown was in command. The lesson learned in this disaster was that the military leaders now knew it was foolhardy to travel in this hostile territory with too few untrained troops. Grant went on to serve in the Civil War as a Lieutenant Colonel with the 6th Minnesota Infantry.  He is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.



Sergeant John F. Bishop           

On August 18, John Bishop was with Captain Marsh’s Company B, Fifth Minnesota Regiment, when they were ambushed by Indians at the Redwood Ferry crossing. After Marsh drowned, a wounded Bishop was made in command of the fourteen survivors who eventually reached Fort Ridgely about midnight. Marsh’s company lost 24 men at the ferry. When the Dakota attacked the fort for the second time on August 22, Bishop was in charge of the 12-pound Napoleon cannon at the southeast corner of the fort. His biography and military narrative is found on-line at this site: http://home.comcast.net/~timbode07/5thMinnesota/Bishop_John.html. John died May 21, 1917 and is buried in the East Lawn Cemetery, Sheldon, O’Brien County, IA. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Captain James G. McGrew       

Another military officer who had a strong presence in the Fort Ridgely battles, McGrew was in charge of two mountain howitzers, 12  and 24 pound weapons.  The first attack on August 20 was repelled with his wise maneuvering of the 12 pound gun by providing covering fire for the troops as they were retrieving munitions.  During the second attack two days later, McGrew, using the 24 lb. howitzer,  shelled the Indian occupied sutler’s store, causing it to burn.  He and his crew also shelled a Dakota encampment in the Minnesota River Valley, breaking up the camp.  The use of these cannon during these two battles were important weapons that forced the Indians to withdraw and flee. 

Rufus Anderson Huggins           

Inscription: “In Memory of Rufus A. Son of Alex and Lydia Huggins Who Died Dec. 16, 1862 Of a Wound Received at the Battle of New Ulm Aug. 23 Aged 16 Yrs. & 9 Mo. For what is your life. It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.  Jas. 48:14.” Rufus was the youngest son of Alexander and Lydia Huggins and a brother to Amos who was killed by the Dakota on August 19 at Lac Qui Parle. Only 16, he joined the St. Peter Frontier Guards under Charles Flandrau to help defend New Ulm.  He was injured during the August 23 battle, shot in the leg.  He remained isolated for several days and very nearly got left behind when the town was evacuated. After being cared for in a hospital in St. Peter, he was moved to the family farm called Hickory Hill. Soon Rufus came down with measles and died in his parents’ home on December 16, 1862. He is buried next to his brother, Amos, in the Green Lawn (Old Traverse) Cemetery northwest of St. Peter. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Ole Boxrud               

 Inscription: "Ole Boxrud, 1845 - 1863, A Boy of Courage Killed by Indians in 1863. 'He that Loseth His Life for My Sake, Shall Find It.' Matt. 10:39 Donated Memorial. Ole was a member of Company E of the Seventh Minnesota Regiment, one of 8 soldiers assigned to guard the settlement in Rosendale Township, located between Madelia and St. James. Even though the 1862 uprising was quelled, small bands of Dakota continued their raids into the county. Eight people were killed in Watonwan County in 1863, including young Norwegian Ole who died on April 16, 1863. He was initially buried near where he fell, but in the mid-1890’s, his body was moved to the Rosendale Pioneer Cemetery in Watonwan County. To read more about his death, see Curtis Dahlin’s findagrave memorial at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=boxrud&GSfn=ole&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=34216892&df=all&Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin. His military history can be found on-line at this site:http://home.comcast.net/~timbode07/5thMinnesota/McGrew_James.html. McGrew died in St. Paul and is buried in the Chatfield Cemetery, Chatfield, Fillmore County, MN. Photo submitted by Bill Cox.

Alvah Getchell

Inscription: "Alvah, Killed by the Indians at Acton, Sept 3, 1862, Aged 19 Yrs, children of N. H. & H. Getchell." There are names of the other children on other sides of the gravestone. Alvah was a 19 year old volunteer in Capt. Richard Strout’s Company B of the Ninth Minnesota Regiment. On September 2, 1862, the company was camped in the yard of Robinson Jones at Acton in Meeker County. Very early the next morning, they received a warning that a large number of Dakota were in the area, so the soldiers proceeded carefully. They soon encountered the Dakota, who attacked them, blocking their path. Strout decided to charge through the Dakota's lines, and make a run for Hutchinson. They did succeed in breaking though the lines, but several soldiers, including Getchell were killed. Their bodies were retrieved several days later. Getchell is buried in the Brooklyn-Crystal Cemetery in Brooklyn Park, MN. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Sgt. Benjamin S. Terry

Inscription: "Benj. S. Terry, Born Feb. 9, 1832, Died at Birch Cooley, Sept. 2, 1862." Benjamin Terry, age 30, was a member of Company G, Sixth Minnesota Regiment. On August 31, the company was dispatched to bury Renville County and Lower Sioux Agency victims who had lain in the hot August sun for two weeks. The party buried many victims, and the night of September 1, they camped at Birch Coulee. Just before daybreak the next morning, the Dakota attacked their camp, badly mauling the party. Terry was killed during the attack on September 2. It was September 3 before Colonel Sibley with his whole force was able to relieve the party. They buried those the Dakota had killed, and returned to the fort with the wounded. Terry is buried in the Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, MN.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.



William B. Carroll  

Inscription:  “William B. Carroll, Killed by Indians, Aug. 19, 1862, Aged 26 Years” William Carroll was part of the Leavenworth Rescue Expedition, a group of about 17 men who left New Ulm, MN on August 19, 1862 heading for Leavenworth Township to rescue any settlers who remained there. He and 10 others were killed after they returned to New Ulm. Carroll is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery, New Ulm, MN. For more details, see Curtis Dahlin’s memorial on findagrave at this link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=47099816&GRid=34158342&Also, see the Leavenworth Monument in the Monument Section. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Edwin Stone

Inscription: "Edwin Stone, Killed in Battle at Acton, Minn. by the Sioux Indians, Sep. 3, 1862, Aged 38 Years." Edwin Stone was a civilian who accompanied Capt. Richard Strout's Company B, Ninth Minnesota Regiment when they marched to the relief of the settlements west of Minneapolis. Early in the morning of September 3, 1862, as they were leaving their camp at Acton in western Meeker County, they were attacked by a substantial Dakota force. Strout decided that their best hope was to break through the Dakota's lines, and make a run for Hutchinson. A running battle ensued, and a number of Strout’s men were killed, including Stone. His remains were retrieved several days later. He is buried in the Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.



Ferdinand Kirschstein

Inscription: "Ferdinand Kirschstein, born in Konigsberg, Prussia, 3 Aug 1815, murdered by the Indians on 24 Aug 1862, New Ulm, Minn." Ferdinand Kirschstein and his family lived in the southern part of New Ulm in 1862.  On the day of the uprising, August 18,  settlers streamed into New Ulm, and the defenders erected barricades in the central business district. The Dakota attacked New Ulm on August 19 and again on the 23rd. Ferdinand, who was a member of Capt. John Bellm's company of militia, helped defend the town. It was probably on August 23 that Ferdinand left the barricades to return to his home to collect badly needed bedding. The Dakota, who were still in the town, killed him. It is probable that he was killed on August 23, even though his tombstone reads August 24. He is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Hubert Schmitt

Inscription:  "H. Schmitt, Shot at the Battle of Burch Cooley, Sept. 22, 1862, Aged 30 Years." Hubert Schmitt, a German immigrant, worked as a blacksmith at the Lower Sioux Agency. On August 18,  Hubert and some of his family were able to escape the Dakota's attack, but apparently one or two of his children were taken captive. They were released with the rest of the prisoners on September 26, 1862, after the Uprising had been put down. Hubert and the other members of his family made it to Fort Ridgely, where they remained for several weeks, weathering two attacks on the fort by the Dakota. On August 31, Hubert was a member of the Joseph R. Brown burial party sent out by Colonel Henry Sibley, to bury the white victims in Renville County and at the Lower Sioux Agency. Hubert probably accompanied the party in order to try to find out what had happened to his two missing children. The party camped at Birch Coulee the night of September 1, and just before daybreak the next morning, the Dakota attacked. They took the 170 members of the burial party completely by surprise, and, as a result, badly mauled them. Hubert likely died on September 2. He is buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, Belle Plaine, MN.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

John Krueger

Inscription: "Our Father, John Krueger, Born in 1809, Died on June 8, 1863. Wounded by the Indians.” In 1862, fifty-three year old John Krueger was a farmer living in Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota. The Kruegers fled to New Ulm when the Dakota Indians attacked settlers living in Milford Township on August 18, 1862. Krueger helped defend New Ulm against attacks by the Dakota on August 19 and 23, 1862. During the battle on August 23, which was a closely fought affair, it appeared to the defenders that reinforcements were approaching from the southeast. A force, including Krueger, was assembled to make a foray outside the barricades where the defenders were holding forth. Unfortunately, Krueger, who was armed only with a pitchfork, was mortally wounded in this affair and William B. Dodd, the second in command at New Ulm was killed. Krueger did not succumb immediately, and was with the party of 2000 when they evacuated New Ulm on August 25. Many of the wounded were sent to a hospital in St. Peter, and that was the case with Krueger. He died there on June 8, 1863. The reinforcements they were seeking to clear the way for turned out to be Dakota who were dressed in white man’s clothing. Krueger is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Julius Fenske

Inscription:  "Julius Fenske, born on 12 February, 1834, murdered by the Indians on 18 August, 1862." Julius Fenske was a member of a Civil War Recruiting Party which left New Ulm for nearby Milford Township the morning of August 18, 1862. Little did the party know what was in store for them. As it turned out, that was the day the Dakota Indians started an Uprising against the whites living in the area. The recruiting party, with about 25 or 30 people, was fired on by the Dakota. Julius was driving the first wagon, and was shot as he attempted to turn around. The Dakota captured the first two wagons and the teams of horses pulling them. Julius' body was recovered later in the day. Three other members of the party were killed, with one living for several weeks. Julius is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.




Captain Louis Buggert, Sr.

Inscription:  "Capt. Louis Buggert, Killed in 2nd Defence of New Ulm, Nov. 7, 1821, Aug. 23, 1862." In response to these Dakota attacks on whites in Brown County, MN, militia groups were organized, and Capt. Louis Buggert was elected to head the Siegel Company of the Brown County militia. Buggert was in New Ulm when it was attacked on August 19 and 23. He was killed during the attack on the 23rd, but the circumstances of his death are unknown. His son, Louis, Jr., is also on the gravestone. Buggert is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Matthew Cantwell

Matthew Cantwell2

Inscriptions:  "Matthew Cantwell, Brother of John J. Cantwell, Died Oct. 8, 1862, Aged 20 Yrs."  "Mathew Cantwell, Co. I, 3 Minn. Inf.” On September 23, 1862, a force of 1600 soldiers under the command of Colonel Henry Sibley defeated a Dakota force of about 800 under Chief Little Crow at the Battle of Wood Lake. Cantwell was a member of Sibley's force serving in Company I of the Third Minnesota Regiment. He was mortally wounded during the battle, dying at an unknown location on October 8, 1862.  He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery, LeSueur, MN.  Photos submitted by Curtis Dahlin.


Luke Smith

Inscription:  "Luke Smith, Kild Defending New Ulm in 1862." In 1862, Luke Smith was a 30-year-old farmer living in Tyrone Township, LeSueur County, MN. Milita units were formed to aid in the defense of New Ulm. Smith was among the volunteers, becoming a member of the LeSueur Tigers No. 1. He was mortally wounded in the leg during the second attack on August 23 and died some days later, with the exact date unknown. The town was evacuated on August 25, and Smith was likely with that group of 2000 people. They made their way first to Mankato, and many continued on to St. Peter and other destinations. Smith is buried in the Saint Thomas Cemetery in LeSueur County next to two comrades who were also killed at New Ulm. One of them is Mathew Ahern and the other is "Unknown." Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Uriah Loomis

Inscription:  "Uriah Loomis, Killed by Indians, Aug. 19, 1862, Aged 17 Years." Uriah was part of the  Leavenworth Rescue Expedition, who were detailed to Leavenworth Township to rescue those who did not flee during the uprising. They found some wounded people who were taken back to New Ulm. The remainder of the party split up, but planned to get back together before returning to New Ulm. But there was a mix-up, and one party reached the outskirts of New Ulm about 3 p.m. Here, they could see that some Dakota were in the area between them and New Ulm. It just so happened that the Dakota were attacking New Ulm that day. The rescue expedition decided to go into the town in spite of the presence of the Dakota. They were ambushed by the Dakota while going through some long grass, and five of the party died, including Uriah's brother, Almond.  Uriah was with the second group, and they approached the same spot a half hour later. They too were determined to go into town, and were also attacked, with six, including Uriah being killed. Only one survived. Loomis is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery.  Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Robert Gibbens

Inscription:  "Robert Gibbens, Died Sep. 6, 1862, Massacred (or murdered) at the Battle of Birch Coulee, Aged 49 Yrs." Robert Gibbens was a 49-year-old miller and stage line operator who lived in St. Paul, Minnesota with his family in 1862. On August 31, he was a member of the Sibley burying party that were to bury victims who had lain in the hot August sun for two weeks. They found and buried many, and Gibbens held prayer over the graves of the victims. When the Dakota attacked them on September 2 at Birch Coulee, Gibbens was among the badly wounded. It was not until the next day that Sibley was able to rescue them. They buried their dead on the battlefield, and went back to Fort Ridgely. Gibbens died there on September 6 and was buried at the fort, and later that year, his remains were brought to Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul for burial. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.



Corporal William M. Cobb

Inscription:  "William M. Cobb, Corp Co A, 6 Minn Inf, 1841 1862, KIA." In 1862, William Cobb was living in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was part-owner of a butcher shop. On August 11, he enlisted in Company A of the Sixth Minnesota Regiment. On August 31, he was a member of Sibley’s burying party that was ambushed by the Dakota at Birch Coulee.  Cobb was wounded four times, but he continued to fight. He died on September 3. Sibley and his force relieved the embattled party on September 3. They buried the victims there, including Cobb, and returned to Fort Ridgely. Cobb's body was returned to St. Paul in late October, and he was buried in Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul, MN. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Private William Luskey

William Luskey2

Inscription:  "William Luskey, Minn LeSueur Tigers, Indian Wars, Aug. 23, 1862." In 1862, William Luskey was a 47 year-old Irish immigrant. He and his wife Johanna and their children lived on a farm in Tyrone Township in LeSueur County, MN.  On August 19, he joined a group of 94 men called the LeSueur Tigers No. 1, commanded by Captain William Delaughter. They joined a group from nearby St. Peter, and marched to the defense of New Ulm. The town had been attacked by the Dakota that day, but the defenders had held on. The next day, another group called the LeSueur Tigers No. 2 also marched to New Ulm. The Dakota attacked New Ulm with a large force on August 23. William was among about 26 defenders who were killed that day. He and the others who were killed were buried in temporary graves in the area of the town which was being defended. In October or November, 1862, these remains were removed and taken to cemeteries for burial. William's remains were reburied in Saint Ann’s Cemetery in LeSueur. On July 6, 1986, William's descendants dedicated markers for William and Johanna. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Sergeant William H. Edwards

Inscription:  "W. H. Edwards, Died Sept 11, 1863 A. 41 yrs.” Sergeant William Edwards was a member of Company A, Eighth Minnesota Regiment, stationed at Paynesville, MN.  The main part of the Dakota Uprising was quelled in 1862, but small parties of Dakota continued to raid frontier settlements, thus Edwards and the Eighth Minnesota's presence in the area in 1863. On September 11, 1863, Edwards and Capt. Marcus Butterfield and perhaps another soldier were traveling in the area when the Dakota attacked them, killing Edwards. Butterfield and the other soldier escaped and returned to Paynesville. Edward's body was retrieved the same day. It was sent to the Champlin Cemetery in Hennepin County, MN, where other members of his family were buried. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

William Russell, Jr.

Inscription:  "In Memory of Wm Russell, Co. A, 6 Reg. Minn. Vol., Born July 23, 1844, Killed in Battle with the Indians at Birch Coulee, Minn., Sep. 22, 1862." Eighteen-year-old Irish immigrant,  William Russell, Jr., was mustered in as a member of a member of Company A, Sixth Minnesota Regiment on August 13, 1862. On August 31, he was part of Colonel Henry Sibley’s burying party that was ambushed by the Dakota while camped at Birch Coulee. The Dakota attacked them there just before daylight the next morning, badly mauling the burial party. Russell was among those who were killed. It was the next day before Sibley was able to come to their rescue. The victims were buried there that day. A number of those who were killed were from St. Paul, and their remains were brought back for burial In Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul in late October or November, 1862.  The inscription date on Russell's gravestone, which lays flat on the ground, is incorrect, as period newspaper accounts published just days after the battle list him as being killed during the battle. Two other names are also cited on the gravestone - Mary and Lydia. Their relationship to William is unknown. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Ernst Dietrich  

Inscription:  In German:  Fr. Ernst Dietrich, died the 18 Aug., 1862, Age 33 Years." Ernst (or Ernest)  and his wife Paulina and their family were residents of New Ulm, MN at the time of the uprising on August 18. He was part of a Civil War recruiting party from New Ulm that was ambushed in neighboring Milford Township. Dietrich and two of his comrades were killed. He is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery. For more of his story, see Curtis Dahlin’s memorial on findagrave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=47099816&GRid=34634429&. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin/

Georg Fredrick Rose

Georg was a 19 year old teamster who was called upon to haul supplies for the troops during the Battle of Birch Coulee. He was shot in the left leg the first day of the battle and carried that bullet in his leg the rest of his life.  Georg was interviewed in 1920 by the Morton Enterprise before he died, and that interview is found under the tab Descendant Stories. Georg and his wife Johanna are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Gaylord, MN.  Johanna was an 11-year old refugee in the stockade in Hutchinson in 1862. Her interview is also found under the Descendant tab. Georg and Johanna married in 1869. Photo submitted by Morris Gildemeister, great grandson of Georg. 

DeWitt C. Lemon

Inscription:  "DeWitt C. Lemon, Killed by Indians, Aug. 19, 1862." In 1862, DeWitt C. Lemon was a 32-year-old farmer living in Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota. Most settlers living in Brown County, including Lemon, fled into New Ulm, but a few did not as they were not sure whether or not the reports of a Dakota Uprising were true. On the morning of August 19, a group of about 17 men decided to leave New Ulm and rescue any settlers who might still be on their farms to the west of New Ulm. The group, which became known as the Leavenworth Rescue Expedition, did find a few wounded victims, who were sent back to New Ulm. The remainder of the Expedition split up, and returned to New Ulm at 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively. As it turned out, the Dakota had launched an attack on New Ulm in their absence, so there were significant numbers of Dakota in the area. Both groups were attacked in turn on the outskirts of New Ulm. Lemon and ten others were killed. Lemon is buried in the New Ulm City Cemetery. Photo submitted by Curtis Dahlin.

Joseph Warren DeCamp        

Inscription:  “In Memory of My Husband, J.W. DeCamp, Who Fell Mortally Wounded by Indians at the Battle of Birch Coulee, Sep. 2 and Died at Fort Ridgely Sep. 5, 1862. Aged 35 Years, 10 Mos,. & 12 D’s.  Thus! sleep the Brave.” His body was moved to the Valley Cemetery in Shakopee, MN in 1865. Joseph was the head of the sawmill operation located at the Lower Sioux Agency at the time of the outbreak. Joseph was not at his home that day and his wife, Jannette, and their 3 children were taken captive by the Dakota. He then went to Fort Ridgely to find his family and was involved in the defense of that fort when attacked. Joseph joined up with the Brown burial party, hoping to learn some news of his family. He was critically injured at Birch Coulee and was taken to the fort where he died on September 3. Eventually, a friendly Indian called Lorenzo Lawrence brought Jannette and her family back to safety at the fort. She was pregnant at that time and later gave birth to a son. For more details of Jannette’s perilous ordeal, see Curtis Dahlin’s book, “The Dakota Uprising – A Pictorial History,” p. 200. Joseph’s findagrave memorial by Cindy Coffin is found here: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=decamp&GSfn=joseph&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=25&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=32817793&df=all&. Photo submitted by Bill Cox. 

McGrann

Pvt. John McGrann

Pvt. John McGrann was a member of Company K, Tenth Minnesota Regiment. He died at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota. He was born in Ireland in 1843 and died September 27, 1863 in Nicollet County, MN. The inscription on his gravestone, which lays flat on the ground, reads "In Memory of ?? McGrann, Co. K 10 Minn Inft. Vol. Died Sept. 27, 1863, Aged 20 Yrs. 7 Ms." He rests beside his wife who died in 1869. John is buried at the Saint Brendan’s Catholic Cemetery in Green Isle, MN. Photo and narrative courtesy of Curtis Dahlin




Minnesota Soldiers and Militia Killed

During the Dakota Uprising

Curtis Dahlin, March 2012

Introduction

Many Minnesota soldiers who had enlisted to fight against the South in the Civil War ended up instead battling the Dakota Indians who launched surprise attacks beginning on August 18, 1862. Some of these battles, such as that at Redwood Ferry on August 18, 1862, were devastating. Half of the force of 48 from the 5th Minnesota Regiment was killed, and others were wounded. The battle of Birch Coulee on September 2 and 3, 1862, was also a major engagement, with about 23 soldiers, militia and civilians being killed. This too, like Redwood Ferry, was a defeat. These were no trivial engagements, and most of the battles took place within less than six weeks. Many of these soldiers were raw recruits who had little or no training.     

Every Minnesota Regiment except the 1st, 4th and 11th had someone killed in the Dakota Uprising. In addition to the well known battles such as Redwood Ferry, Birch Coulee, Fort Ridgely, Acton and Wood Lake, smaller engagements took place in other areas, some in guarding the frontier in the 1863 – 1865 time period and some in pursuing the Dakota into Dakota Territory in 1863 and 1864. 

A Listing of those Killed by Unit

2nd Minnesota Regiment

1.Pvt. Richard H. McElroy, Co. I, age 22, a paroled prisoner of war, serving as a volunteer in Co. I, 3rd Minnesota, battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 23, 1862, buried on the battlefield.

3rd Minnesota Regiment

1.Pvt. Matthew Cantwell, Co. I, age 20, mortally wounded at battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 23, 1862, d. Oct. 8, 1862, buried in Calvary Cemetery in Le Sueur.

2.Pvt. Anthony Collins, Co. A, age 24, battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 23, 1862, buried on the battlefield.

3.Pvt. Benton T. Foster, Co. H, age 19, while on furlough, went to assist New Ulm and mortally wounded in battle of Aug. 23, 1862 and died on Aug. 25, 1862, at Mankato.

4.Pvt. DeGrove Kimbal, Co. G, age 22, mortally wounded at battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 23, 1862, with date of death unknown.

5.Pvt. Edwin E. Ross, Co. A, age 24, mortally wounded at battle of Wood Lake, d. at Ft. Ridgely on an unknown date, buried in Oakland Cemetery in Hutchinson.

5th Minnesota Regiment

1.Capt. John S. Marsh, Co. B, age 28, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

2.First Sgt. Russell H. Findley, Co. B, age 40, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

3.Sgt. Solon A. Trescott, Co. B, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

4.Cpl. Joseph S. Besse, Co. B, age 26, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

5.Pvt. Charles R. Bell, Co. B, age 41, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

6.Pvt. Edwin F. Cole, Co. B, age 42, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

7.Pvt. Charles E. French, Co. B, age 18, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

8.Pvt. John Gardner, Co. B, age 27, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

9.Pvt. Jacob A. Gehring, Co. B, age 43, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

10. Pvt. Mark M. Greer, Co. C, age 18, battle of Fort Ridgely on Aug. 20, 1862, and buried there.

11. Pvt. John Holmes, Co. B, age 20, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

12. Pvt. Christian Joerger, Co. B, age 27, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

13. Pvt. Durs Kanzig, Co. B, age 27, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

14. Pvt. James H. Kerr, Co. B, age 18, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

15. Pvt. Wenzel Kusda, Co. B, age 22, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, body not found for burial.

16. Pvt. Henry McAllister, Co. B, age 31, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, body not found for burial.

17. Pvt. Wenzel Norton, Co. B, age 29, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

18. Pvt. John W. Parks, Co. B, age 20, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

19. Pvt. Moses P. Parks, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

20. Pvt. John Parsley, Co. B, age 26, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

21. Pvt. Nathaniel Pitcher, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

22. Pvt. Harrison A. Phillips, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

23. Pvt. William Shulz, Co. D, age 38, near Fort Abercrombie, Sept. 23, 1862.

24. Pvt. Henry A. Shepherd, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, body not found for burial.

25. Pvt. William Siegel, Co. D, age 31, battle of Fort Abercrombie, Sept. 6, 1862, buried at Custer National Cemetery.

26. Pvt. Charles W. Smith, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Fort Ridgely.

27. Pvt. Edwin D. Steele, Co. D, age 22, mortally wounded at battle of Fort Abercrombie, Sept. 3, 1862, died Sept. 7, 1862, buried at Custer National Cemetery.

28. Pvt. Nathan Stewart, Co. B, age 21, battle of Redwood Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, buried at Ft. Ridgely.

29. Pvt. Edward J. Wright, age 24, near Fort Abercrombie, Sept. 23, 1862, buried Custer National Cemetery (a citizen soldier, may not have been a member of any unit, but buried in a National Cemetery).

6th Minnesota Regiment

1.Sgt. William Irvine, Co. A, age 35, mortally wounded at battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, and died the next day, buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

2.Sgt. Benjamin S. Terry, Co. G, age 30, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

3.Cpl. William M. Cobb, Co. A, age 21, mortally wounded at battle of Birch Coulee, d. Sept. 3, 1862, buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

4.Pvt. John College, Co. A, age 33, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

5.Pvt. George Colter, Co. A, age 18, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, may be buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

6.Pvt. Cornelius F. Coyle, Co. A, age 30, mortally wounded at battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862 and died on Sept. 5, 1862 at Fort Ridgely.  May be buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

7.Pvt. Chauncey L. King, Co. A., age 18, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, buried on family farm in Homer Township, Winona County.

8.Pvt. Nicholas Miller, Co. K, age 21, near the Missouri River at present-day Bismarck, ND, July 29, 1863, buried at Bismarck.

9.Pvt. Henry Rolleau, Co. A, age 25, mortally wounded at battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862.  Died on Sept. 11, 1862 at Fort Ridgely and is buried there.

10. Pvt. William Russell, Jr., Co. A, age 18, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

11. Pvt. Henry Whetsler, Co. A, age 39, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

7th Minnesota Regiment

1.Pvt. Ole Erickson, Co. E, age 22, near Camp Watonwan in southern Watonwan County on April 16, 1863.

2.Pvt. Charles E. Frink, Co. A, age 30, battle of Wood Lake on Sept. 23, 1862.

8th Minnesota Regiment

1.Capt. John S. Cady, Co. A, age 27, near Lake Elizabeth in Kandiyohi County on June 11, 1863, buried in Moravia Rural Cemetery in New York.

2.Sgt. William H. Edwards, Co. A, age 41, northern Meeker County, Sept. 11, 1863, buried in Champlin Cemetery.

3.Cpl. Zenas Blackman, Co. D, age 31, Pomme de Terre in Grant County, May 2, 1863, buried there.

4.Pvt. Adam Hair, Co. D, age 34, Pomme de Terre in Grant County, May 2, 1863, buried there.

5.Pvt. Comfort B. Luddington, Co. D, age 26, near Lightning Lake in Otter Tail County, May 2, 1863, buried at Pomme de Terre in Grant County.

9th Minnesota Regiment

1.Pvt. Frank J. Beadle, Co. B, age 33, battle of Acton, Sept. 3, 1862.

2.Pvt. Abner C. Bennett, Co. B, age 18, mortally wounded at battle of Acton, Sept. 3, 1862, died Mar. 17, 1863 at Hutchinson.

3.Pvt. Alvah Getchell, Co. B, age 19, battle of Acton, Sept. 3, 1862, buried at Brooklyn Crystal Cemetery.

4.Pvt. George W. Gideon, Co. B, age 18, battle of Acton, Sept. 3, 1862, buried at Woodside Cemetery in Shorewood.

5.Pvt. Joseph Gilfillan, Co. E, age 31, south of New Ulm in Brown County, Sept. 4, 1862, buried in Mankato.

6.Pvt. Joseph Kellene, Co. A, age 33, attached to 6th Minnesota, mortally wounded at battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, died Sept. 7 or 8, 1862, probably at Fort Ridgely.  Buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Minneapolis, but the cemetery was later turned into a park.  It is unknown what happened to his remains.

7.Pvt. N. E. or R. Weeks, Co. B, age 29, mortally wounded at battle of Acton, Sept. 3, 1862, died at Hutchinson on Nov. 6, 1862.

10th Minnesota Regiment

1.Pvt. Joseph Vanossa, Co. I, age 28, battle at Fort Ridgely on Aug. 22, 1862.

1st Minnesota Mounted Rangers

1.Lt. Ambrose Freeman, Co. D, age 39, battle of Big Mound, Dakota Territory, July 24, 1863, buried North Star Cemetery, St. Cloud.

2.Dr. Josiah S. Weiser, age 30, battle of Big Mound, Dakota Territory, July 24, 1863, buried at Camp Whitney.

3.Pvt. Andrew Moore, Co. B, age 23, mortally wounded at battle of Big Mound, Dakota Territory, died Aug. 15, 1863, buried at Camp Arnold.

4.Pvt. John Platt, Co. K, age 27, mortally wounded at battle of Dead Buffalo Lake on July 25, 1863, died on July 28, 1863, buried at Camp Stees.

5.Pvt. Gustaf Stark, Co. B, age 23, battle of Big Mound, Dakota Territory, July 24, 1863, buried at Camp Sibley.

2nd Minnesota Cavalry

1.Pvt. Anton Holzgen, Co. D, age 19, east of Killdeer Mountain, Dakota Territory, July 29, 1864, buried there.

2.Pvt. James W. Jolley, Co. F, age 35, on the Blue Earth River near Mankato on May 7, 1865, buried in Lakeville.

3.Pvt. David LaPlante, Co. D, age 34, east of Killdeer Mountain, Dakota Territory, July 29, 1864, buried there.

Brackett’s Minnesota Cavalry

1.Sgt. George W. Northrup, Co. C, age 27, battle of Killdeer Mountain, Dakota Territory, July 28, 1864, buried there.

2.Pvt. Horatio N. Austin, Co. D, age 21, battle of Killdeer Mountain, Dakota Territory, July 28, 1864, buried there.

On Gen. Henry Sibley’s Staff

1.Lt. Frederick John Holt Beever, age, 33, near the Missouri River on July 29, 1863, buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

The Militia

In addition to the soldiers who served and died in these previously cited units, a considerable number of militia also served and died in the Dakota Uprising, particularly at the August 23, 1862 battle for New Ulm and in the September 2 and 3, 1862, battle at Birch Coulee. These heroic men also deserve to be mentioned, even though they did not serve in regular units. These militiamen were not that different from some regular units, such as the 6th Minnesota Regiment, in that at the time they engaged in battle, they had not received any meaningful training. Also, the militia was not as well armed as the soldiers, often carrying shotguns instead of rifles. In addition to the soldiers and militia, there were a few other civilians who joined them in battling the Dakota, and some of them were also killed. The militia is grouped here according to where they fought, and not by unit, as the unit is not always known.

Militia or armed civilians who were killed at New Ulm

1.Capt. Louis Buggert, age 40, of the Siegel Company of Militia, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in New Ulm City Cemetery.

2.Capt. William B. Dodd, age 51, of St. Peter Frontier Guards, second in command at New Ulm, Aug. 23, 1862, buried behind the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in St. Peter.

3.Lt. A. M. (Monroe) Edwards, of the Le Sueur Tigers and newspaper editor there, Aug. 23, 1862.

4.Matthew Ahern, of Tyrone Township, Le Sueur County, in the Le Sueur Tigers, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in St. Thomas Cemetery in Le Sueur County.

5.G. W. Otto Barth, editor of the New Ulm Pioneer, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862 and died on Aug. 26 or 27, 1862, in Mankato.

6.Jacob Castor, age 31, of New Ulm, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in New Ulm City Cemetery.

7.A. A. Clifford, probably on Aug. 23, 1862.

8.William England, age 34, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia, Aug. 23, 1862.

9.Mr. George, probably on Aug. 23, 1862.

10. Max Haack, of Courtland Township, Nicollet County, in St. Peter Frontier Guards, Aug. 23, 1862.

11. Jacob Haeberle, age 41, of Milford Township, Brown County, in Capt. Miele’s militia company, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862 and died on Sept. 20, 1862 in St. Peter.

12. Mr. Holyoke, probably on Aug. 23, 1862.

13. Newell Houghton, age 36, of the Winnebago Agency, in Mankato Company of Volunteers, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in the Houghton Family Cemetery in Sherburne County.

14. Rufus Huggins, age 16, of St. Peter, in St. Peter Frontier Guards, mortally wounded Aug. 23, 1862, and died Dec. 16, 1862, buried in Old Traverse Cemetery in Nicollet County.

15. Goran Johnson, of Nicollet County, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862.

16. Ferdinand Kirschstein, age 47, of New Ulm, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia company, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in New Ulm City Cemetery.

17. Ferdinand Krause, of Milford Township, Brown County, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862, died in St. Peter or Mankato.

18. John Krueger, Sr., age 53, of Milford Township, Brown County, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862, and died on June 8, 1863, buried in New Ulm City Cemetery.

19. Washington Kulp, of Sharon Township, Le Sueur County, in Le Sueur Tigers, Aug. 23, 1862.

20. Mr. Larbold, probably on Aug. 19, 1862.

21. William Luskey, age 47, of Tyrone Township, Le Sueur County, in Le Sueur Tigers, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in St. Anne’s Cemetery in Le Sueur.

22. William Maloney, age 32, of Tyrone Township, Le Sueur County, in Le Sueur Tigers, Aug. 23, 1862, body fell in the Minnesota River and not recovered.

23. Matthias Meyer, age 36, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia company, on Aug. 23, 1862.

24. John Michaels, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862, and died before Oct. 21, 1862 in St. Peter.

25. James Nelson, in Lt. Huey’s company, Aug. 23, 1862.

26. William Nicholson, age 18, in the Mankato Company of Volunteers, Aug. 23, 1862.

27. Jerry Quane, age 37, of St. Peter, in St. Peter Frontier Guards, Aug. 23, 1862.

28. August Riemann, of New Ulm, Aug. 19, 1862.

29. August Roepke, age 45, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia company, Aug. 23, 1862.

30. Leopold Sentzke, age 34, of New Ulm, in Capt. John Bellm’s militia company, Aug. 23, 1862, buried in New Ulm City Cemetery.

31. Luke Smith, age 30, of Tyrone Township, Le Sueur County, in Le Sueur Tigers, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862, buried in St. Thomas Cemetery in Le Sueur County.

32. John Summers, of Nicollet County, in Lt. Huey’s company, mortally wounded on Aug. 23, 1862, died before Sept. 3, 1862 in St. Peter.

Militia or armed civilians who were killed at Birch Coulee

1.Sgt. Robert Baxter, age 32, of St. Paul, with Cullen Guards, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.

2.Joseph W. DeCamp, age 35, of the Lower Sioux Agency, mortally wounded on Sept. 2, 1862, died on Sept. 5, 1862 at Fort Ridgely, buried in Valley Cemetery in Shakopee.

3.Joseph C. Dickinson, age 34, of the Lower Sioux Agency, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Pioneer and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery in Minneapolis.

4.Jacob Freeman, of St. Paul, with Cullen Guards, Sept. 2, 1862.

5.Robert Gibbens, age 49, of St. Paul, mortally wounded on Sept. 2, 1862 and died on Sept. 6, 1862 at Fort Ridgely, buried in Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul.  On Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, he had been saying prayers over the graves of the victims who were being buried by the Joseph R. Brown Burial Party.

6.Stephen R. Henderson, of Beaver Falls Township, Renville County, Sept. 2, 1862, may still be buried on the battlefield.

7.David Holbrook, age 42, of Belle Plaine, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Belle Plaine.

8.Hubert Schmitt, age 30, of the Lower Sioux Agency, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Belle Plaine.

9.John E. Sherwin, age 32, of Belle Plaine, Sept. 2, 1862, buried in Riverside Cemetery, Monticello.

Militia or armed civilians who were killed elsewhere

1.Edwin Stone, a civilian from Minneapolis, accompanied Co. B, 9th Minnesota Regiment, and participated in the battle of Acton on Sept. 3, 1862.  Stone was killed and is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

2.Peter Boyer, a member of the Renville Rangers, battle of Birch Coulee, Sept. 2, 1862, probably still buried on the battlefield.

3.Ernest Paul, a member of the Renville Rangers, battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 23, 1862, buried on the battlefield.

Summary and Conclusions

There were 72 soldiers who were members of Minnesota units who were killed in the Dakota Uprising, out of a total of 615 battlefield deaths of Minnesota Civil War soldiers. So 12% of these deaths occurred during the Dakota Uprising, most within just a few weeks. In comparison, the 543 battlefield deaths in the Civil War itself were spread out over the course of the Civil War. 

In addition to the 72 soldiers who were killed, another 44 members of various militias and armed civilians were killed in the Dakota Uprising, for a total of 116 men. They died in various battles with the Dakota, with soldier against Dakota warriors in some battles such as that at the Redwood Ferry. In other battles, however, such as that at New Ulm, it was armed militia and civilians battling Dakota warriors to save the town and the 2,000 people who were there, including hundreds of women and children. All 116 of those who died did so in the endeavor to defeat the Dakota who had killed over 600 of their fellow citizens. Victory did come, but at a high price. 

Many of those soldiers who were killed at the August 18, 1862 battle of Redwood Ferry were from Chatfield. They were members of Company B, 5th Minnesota Regiment. It is probable that their loss in the number killed in a one-day battle was among the highest for a town of that size, and they had about 50 % of their force killed. It was a devastating blow for Chatfield.

In regards to the intensity of the battles of the Dakota Uprising, there were two soldiers from Minnesota Regiments who were present for the August 23, 1862 battle for New Ulm. (In addition, Pvt. Benton T. Foster of the 3rd Minnesota Regiment was killed.) These two soldiers, who are unidentified, had fought at Bull Run and Mills Spring, Kentucky. So they had evidently been with the 1st and 2nd Minnesota Regiments respectively. After the August 23 battle for New Ulm, they stated that the “bullets fell much thicker at New Ulm than at either of those places, and that the battle field was contested with greater determination, if possible, than in the two rebel fights before mentioned.” It was not a trivial affair, with about 30 defenders dying in the battle.

In conclusion, soldiers, militia and armed civilians made a great sacrifice during the Dakota Uprising, the most significant event in Minnesota’s history. They certainly earned their place of honor, alongside their comrades who died fighting the South in the Civil War.  



Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims: http://www.dakotavictims1862.com