Taoyateduta Leads His People in War
Some at the council thought they should turn in the young hunters. Others argued that the time was right to force the immigrant settlers out of the Dakota homeland; they had endured too many hardships, and the Dakota were not willing to sacrifice any more. But most agreed that their people faced grave risks in going to war; they would need a strong hand to lead them. Finally at daybreak, after long hours of debate, the council reached a decision. They would go to war, and they chose Taoyateduta to
One of the Dakota leaders who had expressed grave doubts about going to war was Wasuhiyahida? (Traveling Hail), chief speaker for the tribe:
We should not talk about war with the whites. Dakota are brave and proud, but [we] are not fools.... We have no cannons and little ammunition. There are few Dakotas and many Americans. The Americans are as many as the leaves on the trees in the Big Woods. Count your fingers all day long and white men with guns will come faster than you can count.
Taoyateduta (Little Crow) also said it was a war they could not win:
We are only little herds of buffalo left scattered; the great herds that once covered the prairies are no more. See-the white men are like locusts when they fly so thick that the whole sky is a snowstorm. You kill one, two, ten- Yes, as many as the leaves in the forest, and their brothers will not miss them. Kill one, two, ten, and ten times as many will come to kill you.
But Taoyateduta had a duty to help his people. Despite his reservations, they had chosen him to lead. He accepted the role, telling them:
Taoyateduta is not a coward. He will die with you.
As daylight broke on August 18, a group of Dakota crept toward the Redwood Agency, its inhabitants unaware of
Little Crow's words were written down by H. L. Gordon in 1891. Gordon claimed to have heard them directly from Little Crow's son, Wowinapa.
Struggles for a Home
The Minnesota River Valley has stories to tell...about the indigenous people struggling to keep their land and their way of life, and about immigrant families who began new lives here. Their stories came together, with tragic consequences for all, in what has become known as the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 — a war that had repercussions for the whole country.
Wabasa (Red Staff)
Wanmdi tan ka Wakute (I Shoot, or The Shooter)
Wanmadi Tan ka (Big Eagle)
Maka to (Blue Earth)
Wasuhiyahidan (Traveling Hail)
Tacyateduta (Little Crow)
Erected by Arts and Heritage Cultural Fund, Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers • Wars, US Indian. A significant historical date for this entry is August 17, 1862.
Location. 44° 39.392′ N, 95° 13.709′ W. Marker is near Delhi, Minnesota, in Renville County. Memorial can be reached from County Road 6, 0.3 miles south of County Road 15.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 (here, next to this marker); Vicksburg Village (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vicksburg Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Schwandt State Monument (approx. 2˝ miles away); Only Two Survived (approx. 2˝ miles away); A New Life with Family and Friends (approx. 3.4 miles away); Site of Florita Settlement 1886-1912 (approx. 3.4 miles away); A Family's Proud Heritage (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delhi.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 5, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 227 times since then and 59 times this year. Last updated on April 7, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 5, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.