MAY 4, 1863


The Dakota War of 1862 was the first violent engagement between the Sioux and the United States.  As a result of the war, the government abolished the Dakota reservation, declared previous treaties with the tribe null and void, and undertook to expel the Dakota people from Minnesota.  A bounty of $25 per scalp was placed on any Dakota found free within the boundaries of the state.  The only exceptions were 208 Mdewakanton “friendlies” who sat out and even helped to protect white settlers.  About 1500 Dakotas were rounded up and held through the winter of 1862–1863 in a “log jail.” The compound was located on Pike Island below Fort Snelling.  In the spring, the camp was moved southwest toward the current site of the Mall of America, prior to the mass removal of the Dakota people to Nebraska and South Dakota including the Crow Creek Indian Reservation on the Missouri River on May 4, 1863.  More than 130 Dakota died in the camp and subsequent removal.

Source: “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,” Minnesota Historical Society.  Retrieved 6/29/2019,
Photo:  Benjamin Franklin Upton (1818-1901?), 1862.  Minnesota Historical Society.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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