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Dakota Conflict Trials: 1862

The Aftermath

In April 1863, Congress enacted a law providing for the forcible removal from Minnesota of all Sioux. Most of the captured, after suffering through a harsh winter at an encampment near St. Paul, were removed to South Dakota. Convicted prisoners who were reprieved from execution were transported on the steamboat Favorite down the Mississippi to Camp McClellan, near Davenport, Iowa. After President Andrew Johnson ordered the release of the 177 surviving prisoners on March 22, 1866, they were moved to the Santee Reservation near Niobrara, Nebraska.

The acknowledged leader of the Dakota Uprising, Chief Little Crow, was not among the Sioux tried by the military commission. He, along with 150 or so of his followers, fled after the war to present-day North Dakota and Canada. In June 1863, Little Crow returned to Minnesota on a horse-stealing foray. On July 3, Little Crow was shot by a farmer while picking berries with his son in western Minnesota. The farmer received a $500 reward from the state.

The Sioux wars continued for many years. A military expedition carried the fighting into the Dakota Territory in 1863 and 1864. As the frontier moved westward, new fighting erupted. Finally, in 1890 at Wounded Knee, the generation of warfare that began in Minnesota in August of 1862 came to a final and tragic end.

Douglas O. Linder

Suggestions for Further Reading

Anderson, Gary Clayton and Alan R. Woolworth, eds. Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988.

Board of Commissioners. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865 (Two Volumes).Minn.:1890, 1893.

Carley, Kenneth, The Sioux Uprising of 1862. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1976.

Folwell, William Watts. A History of Minnesota. Vol. 1I. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1961.

Linder, Douglas O. The Dakota Conflict Trials. http://law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota.htm.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882Dakota Conflict Trials: 1862 - Military Commission Appointed To Try Dakota Warriors, Were The Trials Fair?, President Lincoln Reviews The Dakota Cases