In 1851, the Santee Sioux Indians of Minnesota had been forced to cede to the government their hunting ground of . In 1852, they were corralled into a reservation on the Minnesota River. In 1858, they were swindled of half that land. In August 1862, when the government failed to pay the $1.4 million compensation provided by treaty, and its agents and politicians stole most of the supplies that the treaty granted, the Indians rebelled. When Chief Little Crow complained that despite stacks of provisions in clear sight, supposedly theirs by treaty, his people had nothing to eat, the government agent responded, "So far as I'm concerned... let them eat grass of their own dung. Minnesota political leaders, led by Governor Alexander Ramsey, in league with commercial interests, advocated expelling all Indians from Minnesota.
The Battles of New Ulm
were two battles in the Dakota War of 1862
in August. The settlement of New Ulm, Minnesota
had 900 settlers around the time and was the largest settlement near the Sioux reservation. After the Battle of Fort Ridgely
, the town was seen as a tempting target for a Sioux attack. The topography of the town also presented an advantage for the Sioux, since the land rises some 200 feet out of the Minnesota River
valley in two large steps, with wooded area to provide cover for an attack.
On August 18, 1862, a recruiting party for Civil War
volunteers left New Ulm, but was ambushed in Milford Township
. The... Read More