Near Morton in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
"We had no difficulty in surrounding the camp. The pickets were only a little way from it."
No soldiers would have attempted to climb this hill during the battle. But by standing here today, you can get a sense of Dakota positions.
Wamditanka and his band were behind this hill. Meanwhile, "Red Legs took his men into the coulie (sic) east of the camp. Mankato had some of his men in the coulie and some on the prairie. Gray Bird and his men were mostly on the prairie."
"An Easy Time of It"
Dakota men could eat and rest during the battle, unlike their U.S. counterparts. "We had an easy time of it," said Wamditanka. "We could crawl through the grass and into the coulie (sic) and get water when we wanted it, and after a few hours our women crossed the river and came up near the bluff and cooked for us, and we could go back and eat and then return to the fight."
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 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 Fight Was On” (within shouting distance of this marker); The Prairie Factor (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle Tactics (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 400 feet away); Battle Scars (about 500 feet away); "A Beautiful Place to Encamp" (about 700 feet away); Wrong Place, Wrong Time (about 700 feet away); Two Men, One War (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Morton.
More about this marker. captions:
• William A. Truesdell, Plat map of Birch Coulee Battlefield, 1871-72
• Frank Mayer, Sketches, 1851 Courtesy The Newberry Library
Regarding Dakota Positions. In 1862, the Minnesota Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux," waged war against the United States following two years of unfulfilled treaty obligations.
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Birch Coulee. Minnesota Historical Society. (Submitted on February 1, 2014.)
2. July 1, 1894: Chief Big Eagle speaks. Star Tribune article, interview with Chief Big Eagle (Wamditanka). The Fight begins. "Late in the day some of the men who had been left in the villages came over on their horses to see what the trouble was that the camp had not been taken, and they rode about the prairie for a time, but I do not think many of them got into the fight... I am sure no reinforcements came to me. I did not need any." (Submitted on February 1, 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 219 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.