Metis

1862


THE DAKOTA SIOUX DECLARE WAR

ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1862

Francois La Bathe, a trader, is killed by the Sioux at the Lower Agency near Fort Ridgely.

Pierre Bottineau Metis (1810-1895) guided Fisk on the Idaho Expedition.

James Lynd, a clerk for trader Andrew Myrick, is killed by the Sioux at the Lower Agency near Fort Ridgely. Some believe he was killed because he fathered a number of children by different Sioux women.

Old Hubert Millier, a ferryman near Fort Ridgely, is killed, but not before taking a number of loads of refugees to safety.

Philander Prescott, an interpreter among the Sioux since the early 1820's and married to an Indian woman, is gunned down on his way to Fort Ridgely.

It is noteworthy that this war reflects a complete loss of Indian culture, as some Sioux killed women and children and resorted to rape; a previously tabooed practice. In early Indian culture, women and children were never molested under any circumstances. The could walk freely through the war zones and often carried messages to encourage peace talks. These Sioux had become Europeanized, yet these same Sioux, who had adopted outward identifiable European customs, were called 'cut hairs' and were killed along with the American settlers. It is believed that 490 to 644 Americans died in this war and that 3,000 settlers fled the region.

The first recorded preemptive land claim in the Dakota, made by Thomas McLeese, is two miles west of Yankton. The first homesteader was claimed to be Mahlon Gore.

However, before this, General Todd had laid claim to tracts of land around Yankton and Vermilion on the Missouri River. These European accounts totally ignore the Metis who settled in the Dakotas in the 1770's. Good crops are produced this year in the Dakota Territory.

George Flett (b-1823) of Headingly, proposed that a Red River party try for Rocky Mountain Gold. Flett argued that Red River Metis would have an easier time than American Gold Hunters, for they could converse with the Indians and knew how to survive on (off) the land. His plan was to form a group of 25 to 30 tough men, half-gents; bread and butter heroes who cannot toe the mark, and leave about May 20, 1862.

St. Paul, Minnesota: This Metis community is outfitting the Gold Rush to the Saskatchewan & Rocky Mountains (British Columbia) as well as Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

The Atlantic and Pacific Transit and Telegraph Company proposed a telegraph line across Canada and a wagon trail road from Red River to the Pacific Ocean. The Barons of the Hudson Bay Company exclaimed: "What! Sequester our very taproots? Take away the fertile land of the buffalo? Let all kinds of people to squat and settle?" They went on to say that if these gentlemen (the Orangemen) are so patriotic, why don't they buy us out? It is interesting that the Metis made many of the same comments when the Hudson Bay Company forced the Scottish settlers on Red River. At St. Paul, Minnesota, the Americans had organized a by-weekly mail service to Pembina and Red River, and had completed the route to Fort Garry. James Douglas, a part black who married a Metis and worked for the Hudson Bay Company's west coast holdings, suggested the building of a Trans-Canada Highway to unite the Nation.

Archibald Thompson of the McMicking Company reported that it cost fifteen dollars and sixty five cents to go from from the suspension bridge at Niagara to St. Paul, Minnesota and twenty five dollars to go from from St. Paul to Fort Garry, Red River. Edward Watkin proposed the best solution for the troubled Grand Trunk Railway was to build a Trans-Continental Railway. The first step requires a 10 mile wide right-of-way through the North West Territories and Indian country. A larger steamer, the International, was pressed into service. It could carry two hundred passengers, and the trip from Georgetown to Red River settlement took eight or nine days. Reverend James Nisbet is posted to Little Britain Parish.

Ashcroft, B.C. is named after Ascroft Manor; the estate of Clement Cornwell and Henry Cornwell of England. They built a stopping house in 1863 on their property when the Cariboo Road was being built.

The bigot, Reverend Griffith Owen Corbett, is notorious for his attack on the French Creed and is constantly agitating the differences between Protestant and Catholics. In December Sheriff McKenny arrests him for the seduction and repeated attempts to perform an abortion on Maria Thomas who is near death. Corbett is an amateur medical practitioner, and Maria is from a poor settler's family in St. Clement parish.

Samuel Bruce, Baptiste Morins; a Half Breed guide recommended by William MacTavish, Saint Girinaux; a Half Breed, and Saviard; a three-quarter breed, conducted a bear hunting party to Cypress Hills and Turtle Mountain where they teamed up with Chief Cococh and his band for a hunt.

February: The Nor'wester at Upper Fort Garry, on February 5, 1862, requested of the government: "Do something for us at once or forever give up and let us shape our own destinies'. This very peculiar system of English Government- slow-going, do-nothing English- are driving the Red River Metis, including the Scots, into annexation with the United States. They went on to attack the Hudson Bay Company and their boys. James Ross, who owned the Nor'wester, distorted the Council of Assiniboine petition to his own ends and obtained one thousand signatures, forwarding it on to the Queen. The Hudson Bay Company (Council of Elders) quickly stripped James Ross, the bigot, of all authority, and only Reverend Griffith Owen Corbett, Reverend John Chapman and about twenty men supported the James Ross position. James Ross was Sheriff, Postmaster and Governor of the Gaol for Red River District. Henry McKenny is appointed Sheriff and Governor of the Goal. A.G. B. Bennatyne is appointed Postmaster.

March 6: Bishop Henry B. Whipple, Episcopal of Faribault, wrote President Abraham Lincoln, drawing attention to the evils and dangers in the American Government Indian Policies. He called attention to the frauds in the treaty system. The situation is being aggravated by the near-starvation conditions in Minnesota due to last seasons' drought.

Some believe President Abraham Lincoln and the American Government wanted to create an Indian War to justify their Land Clearance strategy.

March 15: Georgetown (H.B.C.), south of Red River, created in 1859, is hosting 150 Cariboo Gold Miners on their way to the Rocky Mountains. They described Georgetown as one of those sea port towns of olden times with one store at which you can find nothing, one hotel at which you could neither buy grog nor victuals, one barracks, some 3 or 4 wigwams and one dwelling house. It is noteworthy that these men obtained their goods at St. Paul, Minnesota.

May 12: In Georgetown, Alexander Grant Dallas arrived while on his way to Red River to assume his new position as Governor of the Hudson Bay Company with his wife and child.

May 20: The American Congress passed the Western Homestead Act. This act granted 160 acres of land to settlers at $1.25 per acre.

August 3: Thomas J. Galbrath, Dakota Sioux agent, was aware that the Dakota Sioux were being pushed to the verge of war. He organized the Metis and agency employees to form the Company of Civil War Volunteers known as the Renville Rangers.

August 13: The Renville Rangers began to march to Fort Snelling near St. Paul. Big Eagle was surprised that the whites were so desperate for fighting men, that they had to ask the Metis for help.

August 17: Four Dakota Sioux Indians, Brown Wing, Breaking Up, Killing Ghost and Runs Against Something When Crawling, all from the Redwood reserve in Minnesota, touched off the Dakota-Minnesota resistance movement by killing Webster, Baker, Robinson Jones, his wife and Viranus Webster in Action Township, Meeker County, Minnesota. They later killed Claire D. Wilson, aged 15 years. Their fellow warriors in the Dakota Territories later killed two of the four. Council of war is held and, although the Chiefs are opposed, the majority of the people wanted war. Some not only wanted war on the whites, but also to kill the "cut-hairs" or "breeches Indians"; those who abandoned the Indian culture and who would not join them in the fight.

August 18: The war started at the Redwood Agency with the killing of James W. Lynd. Some say it is a vendetta killing. He had abandoned his Dakota Sioux wife and two mixed blood (Metis) children for another Dakota girl. Some suggest this killing was the first wife's relatives seeking revenge. They killed Andrew Myrick, the trader who was hated by the Dakota, next, especially for the infamous "let them eat grass" when they were starving. Myrick had grass stuffed in his mouth. George W. Divoll, and Francois La Bathe, a trader, also died. George H. Spencer is wounded but escaped death, being helped by his Indian friends Chaska, His Thunder and Big Eagle. A.H. Wagner, Superintendent of Farms, is also killed. Dr. Philander P. Humphrey, agency physician, his wife and two children, and Philander Prescott, an elderly fur trader whose wife was Skakopee, were also killed. In all, twenty lie dead, ten more are captive and forty seven escaped. The ferryman is attributed to helping many of those escape, but lost his life in the process. His name is not know for sure but could be Hubert Millier, Charles Martel, Oliver or Peter Martell or Jacob Mauley. Some suggest it was Charles Martel. One of those who escaped was J.C. Dickinson, a boardinghouse operator, and his family. John Other Day and his wife, a White Woman, with their Metis child, took refuge at Birch Coulee and later fled to safer regions as the war pressed into that direction. Hiram P. Grant at Birch Coulee lost the most number of men in any single battle of the entire war. The Dakota losses were minor.

August: Fort Ridgely, some thirteen miles away, dispatched forty six men to Redwood who were commanded by Corporal James C. McLean. Peter Quinn is the interpreter.

The Reverend Samuel D. Hinman of the Episcopal missionary, warned the army detachment that they were outnumbered and not to continue. Other fleeing settlers also warned McLean that he would be outnumbered, but McLean refused to heed their warnings. The resulting battle saw Quinn and twenty four soldiers dead, along with one Indian. Corporal James C. McLean drown trying to swim the river to escape. Sergeant John F. Bishop took command and led the 15 survivors, of which 5 were wounded, in a retreat back to Fort Ridgely. Eight more soldiers later returned safely. Only one Dakota was reported killed in battle. The Dakota discovered they could kill the white men like sheep. Death and terror spread quickly throughout the Minnesota Valley.

August: George H. Gleason, escorting Dr. J. L. Wakefield's wife and two children to Fort Ridgely, is killed by the Dakota. Chaska, a Dakota, prevented the killing of the wife and children and took them into protective custody at his Shakopee camp where they are held for five weeks.

August: John Other Day, who had a white wife and a Metis child, argued for peace as did Akepa, Simon Anawangmani and Paul Mazakutemani (Little Paul). These men warned their white and Metis friends of the pending, all out war of resistance.

August 19: John Other Day herded most of the people into a brick warehouse at the Upper Agency on the Minnesota River, and stood guard. Day led the 62 refugees across Minnesota to safety. Included in this party are Stewart B. Garvie (who died from his wounds on the trip), Dr. Wakefield, John Other Day's family, Adrian J. Ebell and Nelson Givens. The Dakota burned his home and destroyed his cultivated fields for his actions. Others, being warned by Little Paul, also fled to Fort Ridgely, including Dr. and Mrs. Williamson, Reverend Stephen R. Riggs and wife, Mary, Antoine Renville, Jonas Pettijohn and family, Andrew Hunter, Mr. & Mrs. D. Wilson Moore; making a total of more than 30 people. Amos W. Huggins, a teacher who had lived among the Wahpeton since childhood, is killed.

August 19: The Company of Civil War volunteers known as the Renville Rangers, composed mostly of Metis, rushed to Fort Ridgely from St. Peter. This increased the defending contingent from 22 untrained men to about 180 well trained frontier men. Fifty men each, of company B & C, 50 Rangers and 25 citizens.

August 19: The town of Ulm came under its first assault. Six are killed and five wounded. Eleven others were killed trying to reach Ulm. It is noteworthy that Ulm had a normal population of 900 people and was swelled by settlers from surrounding areas, but only had some forty guns. Later, 125 armed Frontier Guards arrived from St. Peter and Le Sueur. During the week, hundreds more arrived to defend Ulm.

August 20: Fourteen Scandinavian settlers are killed at West Lake, Minnesota. Anders P. and Daniel P. Broberg's families are among the dead, as is Andreas L. Lundborg.

August 20: The Dakota attack on Fort Ridgely is repelled.

August: The reports of war were inconsistent as, in some encounters, the women and children are spared although others are killed. Some settlements are all burned; others are left standing. A Federal commission investigating property damage in 1863 reported to Congress that not all the devastation could be attributed to the Dakota Sioux.

Freebooting whites later completed what the savages had spared. The areas of greatest death were the Renville and Brown communities which consisted largely of Germans.

August 21: Barkerville, B.C. is created when William (Billy) Barker, a Cornish sailor, made a large gold strike.

August 22: The Dakota launched their second attack on Fort Ridgely, but were again repelled. The defenders counted 3 dead and 13 wounded. The Dakota dead numbered over 100, but this is likely over estimated. Years later, Indians could only remember two dead warriors in this battle. Chief Big Eagle later said that the defenders of Fort Ridgely were very brave.

August 23: The Dakota lit a large fire to give the impression that Fort Ridgely was on fire, and Ulm sent 75 men to their defense. They were ambushed and had to retreat away from Ulm. This only left 225 guns to defend Ulm. About 650 braves attacked Ulm. The settlers finally routed the Dakota Sioux by burning 190 buildings, giving the attacking Dakota no shelter to launch attacks. Ulm lost 34 and 60 were wounded.

August 24: The Dakota launched a minor attack on Ulm. The people of Ulm, due to a critical shortage of ammunition and food, decide to abandon the City. Louis Lewison is killed by the Dakota in Jackson County.

August 25: About 2,000 people with 153 wagons, loaded with women, children, sick and wounded, departed Ulm. They had a newly arrived contingent of 150 well armed men to escort them to Mankato; thirty miles to the east.

August 26: Jack Frazer, a Metis, from Fort Ridgely informed Colonel Henry H. Sibley of the state of the Fort. Sibley, with an army of 1,400 white volunteers, started out for the Fort. Sibley was called a snail, a coward and the State undertaker because of his cautious inaction. It is noteworthy that Henry Sibley had a Dakota wife and, later, became a rich man and stood accused of stealing monies owed to the Dakota. Colonel Samuel McPhail, with a vanguard of mounted men, also departed for Fort Ridgely. Captain Anson Northup, with 175 men from Minneapolis, is credited with being the first to arrive at the Fort on August 27.

August 27: President Lincoln wrote that Governor Ramsey attend to the Indians. Necessity knows no law.

August 29: The refugees of Fort Ridgely are removed to St. Paul.

August 30: About 200 Ojibwa and Metis are waiting at Pembina for the steamer, obviously unaware of the Dakota Sioux war. Burchunaw and 14 Mounted Metis, concerned about the delay, discovered and assisted the Samuel Bruce, W. Kittson party to organize their wagons into a Metis Corral (circle) for defense against the Dakota Sioux. W. Kittson, their leader, is reputed to be a well traveled prairie man but had no understanding of the basic defenses of wagon trains.

August: Dr. Daniels, while on a burial detail, stated: I saw every one that was buried and not one was scalped or mutilated as a result of the War.

August: Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (1795-1883) of Red River and a companion were captured by the Dakota at the mouth of Redwood River on the Minnesota River. When released, they returned to Saint Boniface, Red River.

August: Vermillion is abandoned as people fled to Sioux City. Yankton is filled with refugees from Sioux Falls and squatters further up the Missouri. The Sioux City Register called for a 'Wiping Out Policy', against the Santee. The St. Paul Press alleged that succession agents from Missouri may have caused the outbreak. The Citizen proclaimed that Indians have no right or title to the soil, and Government is now strong enough to enforce this policy. The Dakotans further claim they have no sovereignty over their fate and must peacefully yield to the inevitable fate of their Race.

August: Plans to negotiate a land-cession treaty with the Pembina and Red Lake Chippewa bands at the forks of the Red and Red Lake river, near what is now Grand Forks, North Dakota, fell through because of the Dakota Sioux uprising. Some 2,500 Ojibwa and Metis had assembled at the Grand Forks for treaty.

August 18: Chippewa Agent, Lucius C. Walker, reported that the Chippewa warriors were gathering at Gull Lake to the north west of present day Brainerd, Minnesota. Frank B. Fobes, out of Fort Ripley, attacked the Chippewa village at the mouth of the Crow Wing and Mississippi, convinced that Hole-in-the-Day was a main troublemaker. The Crow Wing Chippewa escaped under a hail of bullets to Gull Lake. Big Boy, a leader of the Pillager band of Chippewa at Leech Lake, Minnesota, arrived at Fort Ripley with a warning of possible attack on the Agency and Fort. He reported the looting of Government buildings at Leech Lake, stolen horses, the killing of cattle and the possibility of Leech Lake joining the Gull Lake bands in a general uprising. Only two of the eight Chippewa bands in this region had taken part in any of the episodes, and it is doubtful that a general uprising is in the making. It would appear the incident is a posturing move to improve their treaty negotiations and settle long standing claims. A meeting held at Crow Wing resulted in the return of some of the stolen goods.

Early September: Fort Abercrombie, on the west bank of the Red River in Dakota Territory, near present day McCauleyville, is attacked. A small band of Dakota Sioux drove off the Fort's grazing stock. A scouting party recovered forty to fifty head the following day. One hundred Dakota attacked the Fort to secure more horses, and the casualties are light. A third attack is repelled on September 6, after three hours of fighting. The month long siege of the Fort ended on September 29 and only resulted in five dead and five wounded.

September: Little Crow had a growing number of whites and Mixed-Blood (Metis) prisoners of war camped at the mouth of the Chippewa River near present day Montevideo, Minnesota. Little Paul, the Wahpeton orator, and many others spoke out for the release of the prisoners. The Dakota Sioux broke into two opposing camps, and, when Little Crow is fighting the Long Knives, the opposing faction took possession of the prisoners of war for safe keeping. They dug rifle pits to defend the prisoners, expecting a fight from Little Crow if he was victorious in battle. The Dakota Sioux Chiefs: Shakopee, Red Middle Voive, Medicine Bottle and others, gathered their bands and headed for the open prairies. The prisoners, having been held for about five weeks, are turned over to the Americans. They totaled 107 whites, mostly women and children, including only four men and 162 Mixed-Blood (Metis).

September 2: Captain Joseph Anderson, at Birch Coulee, is attacked by 200 Dakota Sioux. Fort Ridgely sent out 240 men to assist Anderson and company, then realized this was not sufficient and six companies were immediately dispatched into the war zone. Thirteen men lay dead, 47 were severely wounded, many more were less seriously hurt. Later, four more died of their wounds. There were only two dead Indians.

September 6: Governor Ramsey of Minnesota replied to President Lincoln that those Indian outrages continue. This is not our war, it is a National War. More than 500 whites have been murdered by the Indians. The infamous President Lincoln cannot plead ignorance when he issues orders to murder prisoners of war and condones genocidal policies.

September 9: Governor Ramsey of Minnesota declared that "the Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the State." He also called for the abrogating of all Sioux treaties and the using of annuity money that was due the Indians to reimburse white victims of the Dakota War of Resistance. This would effectively penalize the innocent along with the participants. The Congress accepted this genocidal suggestion, passing an Act on February 16, 1863.

September 12: Colonel Henry H. Sibley is in negotiations to have the Dakota's white and Metis prisoners of war released. The Dakota are concerned and have no confidence that the whites will stand by any agreement they make if they gave them up. Ever since we started traded with them, their agents and traders have robbed and cheated us. Some of our people have been shot, some hung; others placed upon floating ice and drowned; and many have been starved in their prisons. It was not the intent of the Dakota Nation to kill any of the whites.

September 17: Sibley is ordered to exterminate the Indians engaged in the outbreak.

September 19: Sibley's army of 1,619 trained and well provisioned men, departed Fort Ridgely. Others suggest that most of his army is untrained and composed of white volunteers. The next day an attack is botched by the ineptness of Sibley's army, and the attack is called off. The first scalping of the war is performed by Sibley's white army of civilized and Christian men. Seven soldiers are killed and 33 wounded.

September 26: Gabriel Renville, Metis, went to inform the American army that the prisoners of war were safe and that they could come and get them. The friendly Dakota held 91 whites and about 150 Metis which they immediately released to the American army. Over the next two days a total of 107 whites and 162 Metis prisoners of war are released. Of the whites, only 4 are men (George Spencer being one). The rest are women and children. Some of the women freed are: Mrs. Harriet Adams who is exceedingly pretty and says she was not molested; Mrs. Brown and family; Mrs. Wakefield; Mary Schwandt who was annoyed with the contentment of Mrs. Adams; Mattie Williams; Mrs. Amos Huggins; and Nancy M Faribault and her Metis husband, David. Mrs. Joseph W. De Camp and her three children were delivered from the protection of Lorenzo Lawrence, a Metis. Mrs. Justina Boelter and three year old daughter Ottilie were discovered near starvation, but she had survived on her own skills and had avoided capture. She later married her brother-in-law, Michael Boelter, who had lost his wife and three daughters on August 18.

September: It is known that Lawrence Garneau (1840-1921), the Metis, and trading associates from Sault Ste Marie are in the vicinity, but it is not known if they are among the prisoners of war, if they are free, or among the resistance fighters who escaped.

September 28: The infamous General Pope said: It is my purpose, utterly, to exterminate the (Dakota) Sioux. This expressed the genocidal view of the majority of the white Wisconsin population. The infamous General Henry H. Sibley, to his credit, asked to be relieved of his command so that a strictly military commander could be appointed to exterminate those Indians who had escaped. His request was denied, and he was recommended a promotion to Brigadier General. About 2,000 prisoners were taken, 1,200 from the friendly camp and 800 from the enemy camps.

October 4: General Henry H. Sibley sent 1,250 Dakota Sioux, under guard, to gather corn and potatoes from the fields of the ruined Upper Indian Agency.

October: Little Crow wintered near Devils Lake in North Dakota. The Dakota Sioux had sent word with some of their leader, that they wanted to visit Fort Garry in the spring on a peace full mission. The people are concerned because most of the Metis would be off on the buffalo hunt, freighting to St. Paul, Minnesota, or along the Saskatchewan River, York Factory or Portage la Prairie. Some reports suggest that the Dakota Sioux resistance war closed most trade between St. Paul, Minnesota and Red River. Most, however, contend it is business as usual. Others claim that only in Sioux Falls, South Dakota were homes and crops damaged by the Dakota Sioux in the Dakotas.

October 16: The Earl of Dunmore, Colonel and Captain Cooper and Captain Thynne arrived Red River from St. Paul, Minnesota. They had followed the Wood Road through Chippewa territory as distinguished from the Plains road running through Dakota Sioux Territory, and recorded no problems.

October 25: A military commission was established as Colonel William Crooks, Lieutenant Colonel Marshall (soon replaced by Major George Bradley), Captain Hiram P. Grant, Hiram S. Baily and Lieutenant Rollin C. Olin. Isaac Heard acted as recorder. Antoine D. Freniere, Metis, and Reverend Riggs acted as interpreters. It is noteworthy that the infamous General Henry H. Sibley did not have the authority to conduct military trials, and the rules of war required a civilian court be convened for prisoners of war.

Many prisoners were convicted by the condemned murderer, Joseph Godfrey (Otakle), d-1909, a mulatto. He was spared a hanging for turning in States Evidence. They had 449 cases to review and settled as many as 40 cases a day. General Henry H. Sibley and General Pope quickly approved the execution of 307 men, excluding John Other Day's brother who was spared hanging by a prison sentence. The public pressure is to do away with all Indians; guilty and innocent alike. The matter, however, was sent to the President of the United States, as they believed they had exceeded their own authority.

November 7: The list of 307 war prisoners that were condemned to death was cut to 303, and the list was sent to President Lincoln. Lincoln wanted to make the distinction between rapists and wanton murders and Indians who merely participated in battles. General Henry H. Sibley marched 1,700 men, women and children to Fort Snelling, but as they passed through Henderson, the white citizens attacked the Dakota with knives, guns, clubs and stones.

November 9: The 303 condemned soldiers were marched to Camp Lincolin at South Bend, and they again passed through New Ulm where the angry white mob of men, women and children showered the shackled men with stones, causing severe injury to 15 Dakota. These acts suggest that the soldiers were ordered to allow the citizens to vent their anger.

November 28: The Hudson Bay Company Council of the Assiniboia dismissed James Ross as Sheriff, Postmaster and Governor of the Goal because of his opposition to the Government of the Red River Colony. He had been attacking the Council in the columns of The Nor'Wester and stirring up opposition to the Councils self proclaimed authority. Francois Bruneau suggested that Henry McKenny be Sheriff and Governor of the Goal. He recommended A.G.B. Bannatyne for Postmaster. Francois Bruneau and Bishop Tache dominated the Council.

November: Jacob Nix, commandant of New Ulm, said: No one can imagine dirtier dogs than the Redskins in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota, Idaho, Montana and other northwestern sections. Treacherous of character, proud and cold of bearing in response to the honest friendliness of the white man. The Redskins hate the Paleface and we should not have provoked the Indians with injustices.

November: George Crook (Wakanajaja's), Metis, on his journey to the prison camp at Mankato, passed through New Ulm. The village was wild for the thrust of blood. The towns people began to beat the prisoners to a pulp. Crook's younger brother was beaten to death by the angry mob.

December 4: An army of white settlers from Mankato marched on camp Lincoln, intent on killing all the Dakota prisoners. The army prevented a massacre.

December: Senator Wilkinson, in a letter to President Lincoln wrote: These (Dakota Sioux) Indians are called, by some, prisoners of war. There was no war about it. It was wholesale robbery, rape and murder. These Indians were not at war with their murdered victims. The Supreme Court, in 1831, referred to Indian Tribes as Domestic Dependent Nations. Various treaties between the United States of America and the Dakota Sioux recognized the sovereign status of the Dakota Sioux. All leaders urged the immediate execution of all of the 303 prisoners of war. Bishop Henry B. Whipple wrote on December 17: History will strip off every flimsy pretext and lay bare the folly of every shallow expedient. Riggs and Dr. Williamson also wrote unpopular letters to the press calling for a fair trial for the Indians.

December: The Dakota Sioux Nation clearly thought of itself as sovereign. The Dakota were de facto legitimate belligerents and had declared war on the United States of America.

December 6: President Lincoln disappointed most Minnesotans by approving death sentences for only 39 of the 303 condemned prisoners of war. He wrote out the names of those to be hung for rape and murder.

As a result of President Lincoln's stand, Senator Wilkinson, General Pope and Colonel Henry H. Sibley are murders under the conventions of war. They are also guilty of genocide policy and practice against the sovereign Dakota Sioux, the Metis or Mixed Blood, and the Mulatto.

December 24: Tazoo, a Dakota Sioux, just before his murder as a prisoner of war, said: I expect to go direct to the abode of the Great Spirit. Hdainyanka, a Dakota Sioux, also a Prisoner of War to be murdered, said: You have deceived me. I have not killed, I have not wounded or injured a white man, or any white person. I have not plundered.

December 26: At Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Dakota Sioux and Metis Freedom Fighters, out of 303 convicted of murder, were hanged by order of the infamous President Lincoln. This has been called America's greatest mass military execution (murder). Four hundred are charged with murder, 303 convicted and 18 imprisoned for their part in the War of Resistance. Many concluded this was the result of a witch hunt that ended in a travesty of justice. Many defendants only had a 5 minute trials before being sentenced to death. Included was Joseph Godfrey, Metis; Jean Baptiste Campbell, Metis; Taopi (Wounded Man), Metis; Otakle a.k.a. Godfrey, Metis, a colored man (Negro); Tehehdonecha, also charged with the rape of Margaret Cardinal; Tazoo alias Pyandoota, also charged with rape of Mattie Williams; Napayshne; Tatemima (Round Wind); Tahohpewakan; Paypaysin; Amaytoahakshedo; and Cut Nose. David Faribault senior, a Metis defendant who was educated among whites and fluent in English, wrote that even he did not even understand that he was on trial for his life. One commission member, William Marshall, frankly admitted he could not give the men accused a fair trial. The sixth amendment, which guarantees the right to assistance of council, was specifically denied.

December: Some of those rounded up were considered friendly to the whites and provided protection such as Wabasha, Red Iron, Taopi, Gabriel Renville, Metis, Joseph Campbell ,Metis. A death sentences was handed down if the defendant fired in battle, brought ammunition, carried supplies to combatants or committed murder. Mitigating evidence such as preventing rape or murder was generally ignored. A reasonable doubt standard of proof was not employed. After the execution and burial, the white doctors, under cover of darkness, dug up and stole a number of the bodies for study.