Near Morton in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
“A Beautiful Place to Encamp”
"It was a beautiful place to encamp, but it proved an unfortunate one for us, as the enemy had the advantage both of the timber and hill for protection."
To cover the largest possible area, the burial detail split into two groups on September 1. Anderson and his men went south of the Minnesota River, while a group headed by Capt. Hiram Grant scoured the land north of the river. The two groups rejoined at a campsite Grant chose. Despite Anderson's misgivings about the site, he and his men settled in for the night.
An Error in Judgment
"Everything indicated...that the Indians had all removed up to Yellow Medicine (near Upper Sioux Agency)," Anderson said about Grant's fateful choice of a campsite. Although many felt uneasy, the men camped where they had been assured no Dakota forces would attack.
Grant chose a site on level ground, close to trees and water, less than a half-mile from the road to Fort Ridgely—in a low-lying area open to gunfire.
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 34.557′ N, 94° 58.59′ 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. Touch 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. Wrong Place, Wrong Time (within shouting distance of this marker); Two Men, One War (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle Ends (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle Tactics (about 300 feet away); The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 300 feet away); Battle Scars (about 400 feet away); After the Battle (about 500 feet away); The Story of the Land (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morton.
More about this marker. sketch caption:
Albert Colgrave, Ravine on the Road to Birch Coolie, 1862
Regarding "A Beautiful Place to Encamp". In 1862, the Minnesota Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux," waged war against the United States following two years
Also see . . . The U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. During the War. Timeline of War. "There are an estimated 1,200 settlers in Renville County in 1862. On the 18th and 19th, more than 160 residents are killed; more than 100 more are taken captive. With few exceptions, the bodies of those who died are in unmarked graves, where they fell." (Submitted on January 26, 2014.)
Additional keywords. U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
Categories. • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 26, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 351 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on January 26, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.