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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Morton in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Battle Ends

 
 
The Battle Ends Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
1. The Battle Ends Marker
Inscription.
On the second day of the fight, we were reinforced...which ended one of the hardest and best fought battles known."
                                                Joseph Anderson

Early in the afternoon of September 3, the U.S. forces heard two cannon blasts coming from the east. Could help be near? When reinforcements failed to appear, they gave up hope.

Several hours later, troops from Fort Ridgely finally arrived. The Dakota forces spotted the troops, ceased fire, and vanished. After 36 hours, the Battle of Birch Coulee was over.

"We Could Have Taken the Camp"

According to Wamditanka, the Dakota men had a plan to charge the campsite: "During the fight the whites had thrown up breastworks, but they were not very high and we could easily have jumped over them. We could have taken the camp, I think."

The Dakota leaders changed their plans when they spotted U.S. reinforcements. Mankato and about 50 Dakota men rushed toward the reinforcements, stopping them in their tracks for several hours. When additional U.S. troops moved in, however, the Dakota headed south across the Minnesota River to their old villages, and then upriver to Yellow Medicine.

Minnesota Historical Society
Birch Coulee Battlefield
The Battle Ends Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
2. The Battle Ends Marker

 
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 34.605′ N, 94° 58.551′ W. Marker is near Morton, Minnesota, in Renville County. Marker can be reached from County Road 18 0.2 miles south of 690th Avenue (County Road 2), on the left when traveling 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 Battle of Birch Coulee (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "A Beautiful Place to Encamp" (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 300 feet away); After the Battle (about 300 feet away); Battle Scars (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 500 feet away); Wrong Place, Wrong Time (about 500 feet away); Two Men, One War (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Morton.
 
More about this marker. sketch caption: Albert Colgrave, Fort Ridgley, 1862
 
Regarding The Battle Ends.
The Battle Ends Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
3. The Battle Ends Marker
Birch Coulee Battlefield
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. A burial detail of 160 to 170 soldiers and civilians was dispatched from Fort Ridgely to bury the remains of settlers who had been killed in the early weeks of the war. During the first night out, the detail was surrounded by Dakota, who attacked at dawn. Pickets (guards) at Fort Ridgely – about sixteen miles away – could hear the sounds of the battle, so Colonel Sibley sent out a relief party of 240 men. Colonel McPhail, heading up the relief party, thought he was almost completely surrounded by the Sioux and sent two messengers back for more reinforcements. Colonel Sibley, himself, returned with more reinforcements.
 
Also see . . .
1. July 1, 1894: Chief Big Eagle speaks. Star Tribune article. Mankato Repulses McPhail. "Just as we were about to charge word came that a large number of mounted soldiers were coming up from the east toward Fort Ridgely... He told me he did not take more than fifty, but he scattered them out and they all yelled and made such a noise that the whites must have thought there were a great many more, and they stopped on the prairie and began fighting. They had a cannon and used it, but it did no harm." (Submitted on February 4, 2014.) 

2. Sketch of the Battle of Birch Coulie. Minnesota Valley Historical Society. "This force, which was under the command of Maj. Joseph R. Brown... was composed of Company A, Sixth Minnesota Infantry, under Captain H. P. Grant; seventy mounted men of the Cullen Guard under Capt. Joseph Anderson; some volunteers, soldiers, and citizens; a detail of other soldiers from the Sixth regiment and the militia force, and seventeen teamsters with teams." (Submitted on February 4, 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 252 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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