Near Morton in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Battle of Birch Coulee
Just before sunrise on September 2, 1862, the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee.
One of the bloodiest battles of the U.S.-Dakota War was fought here. For a day and a half, this place echoed with the sounds of gunfire, the moans of wounded men, and the cries of terrified horses. More than 20 men and 90 horses were killed here.
Follow the trail to discover the causes and consequences of the battle.
How did Birch Coulee get its name?
Coulee is a French word for a deep streambed with steep sides, either dry or filled with water. Birch Coulee is in the wooded area off to you right, where paper birch trees were once plentiful.
Dakota people call this place tanpa yukan, or "place of the white birch."
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 34.525′ N, 94° 58.524′ W. Marker is near Morton, Minnesota, in Renville County. Marker can be reached from County Road 18 0.2 miles south Click for map. Marker is within Birch Coulee Battlefield/State Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 68634 County Road 18, Morton MN 56270, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Story of the Land (within shouting distance of this marker); Minnesota's Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); Two Men, One War (within shouting distance of this marker); Wrong Place, Wrong Time (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "A Beautiful Place to Encamp" (about 300 feet away); After the Battle (about 300 feet away); The Battle Ends (about 500 feet away); Battle Tactics (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Morton.
More about this marker. captions:
• Paul G. Biersach, The Battle of Birch Coulee, 1912
• William A. Truesdell, Plat map of Birch Coulee Battlefield, 1871-72
Also see . . .
1. Minnesota Historical Society. Birch Coulee Battlefield. History. (Submitted on January 7, 2014.)
2. National Park Service. Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings. Birch Coulee Battlefield. (Submitted on January 7, 2014.)
Additional keywords. U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
Categories. • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 328 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.