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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Echo in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Wood Lake Battle

 
 
The Wood Lake Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
1. The Wood Lake Battle Marker
south side of marker
Inscription. In mid-September, 1862, more than 1,600 soldiers commanded by Colonel Henry Sibley marched northwest from Fort Ridgely into the Minnesota River Valley with an aim to end the U.S.-Dakota War. Word of that movement reached the Dakota soldiers’ lodge near present-day Montevideo, sparking a debate about the most effective campaign to permanently defeat the enemy. Dakota leader Taoyateduta (Little Crow) argued for a risky nighttime attack; others called that cowardly, preferring to attack in the early morning hours.

Sibley’s command camped here, the site of the Lone Tree Lake which has since disappeared. (At the time of the war, Lone Tree Lake was mistaken for Wood Lake, 3.5 miles to the west.) At dawn on September 23, 1862, hundreds of Dakota warriors prepared to attack from the tall grass near Sibley’s encampment, three miles south of the Yellow Medicine Agency, known today as the Upper Sioux Community.

The ambush was thwarted when several men from Sibley’s camp left in a wagon in search of potatoes. Gunfire erupted as the wagons threatened to run over the Dakota, alerting the soldiers at Sibley’s camp. Battle-hardened Civil War veterans of the Third Minnesota Infantry sprang into action, bolstering the raw recruits and volunteers during this final battle of the war. Two hours of fighting on the 600-acre-site brought
The Wood Lake Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
2. The Wood Lake Battle Marker
north side of marker with duplicate text
victory for Sibley’s command and put an end to the war. Taoyateduta retreated westward with 200 to 300 warriors who refused to surrender.

The Dakota who surrendered were taken into custody; almost 400 men, including non-combatants, were hastily tried by military tribunal. Of those, 303 Dakota men were found guilty and sentenced to hanging. Aides to President Abraham Lincoln reviewed the records, and Lincoln reduced the sentences. On December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota, 38 men were sentenced to hang in what became the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

logo of Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment
Minnesota Historical Society
2012

 
Erected 2012 by the Minnesota Historical Society, funding by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 42.092′ N, 95° 26.143′ W. Marker is near Echo, Minnesota, in Yellow Medicine County. Marker is on 210th Avenue (County Road 18) 0.7 miles west of 610th Street (State Highway 67), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Echo MN 56237, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles
The Wood Lake Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
3. The Wood Lake Battle Marker
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wood Lake Battlefield State Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); The Joseph R. Brown House (approx. 5.6 miles away); Farther and Gay Castle (approx. 5.6 miles away); Boiling Spring (approx. 5.7 miles away); The Kittelsland Water Wheel (approx. 6.8 miles away); The Enestvedt Marker (approx. 6.8 miles away); A Family's Proud Heritage (approx. 6.9 miles away); A New Life with Family and Friends (approx. 7.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. A previous marker erected in 1995 with outdated language was replaced with this marker in 2012. The content of the new sign was reviewed by a Minnesota Historical Society historical marker committee, as well as by Dakota consultants and the Minnesota Historical Society Indian Advisory Committee.
 
Also see . . .
1. The U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Battle of Wood Lake. "Over the course of this battle seven white soldiers were killed and 33 were wounded. Fifteen Dakota, including chiefs Makato and Mazamani, were killed during or after this battle, which effectively ended organized Dakota war efforts in Minnesota." (Submitted on October 6, 2013.) 

2. The US-Dakota War of 1862. A Map of the U.S.-Dakota War. (Submitted on October 6, 2013.) 
 
Categories. Wars, US Indian
 
The Wood Lake Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
4. The Wood Lake Battle Marker
Sioux Indian War 1862
Nearby Monument and Flag image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
5. Nearby Monument and Flag
(lens distortion – objects are not leaning)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 338 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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