“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mobridge in Walworth County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

"Fool Soldier Band"

Dedicated to the Indian People in Honor of the

"Fool Soldier Band" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, April 29, 2017
1. "Fool Soldier Band" Marker
Inscription.   In 1882, a dramatic rescue of white captives held by a band of hostile Santee Sioux, took place near this spot. A group of eleven young Teton Sioux boys left Ft. Pierre on a cold November day determined to overtake and meet with the Santees to negotiate the exchange of nine women and children for the food and blankets which they took with them. The Santees had taken the captives on a raid of a settlement near Lake Shetak in Minnesota four months earlier. The boys: Martin Charger, Kills Game and Comes Home, Swift Bird, Four Bear, Mad Bear, Pretty Bear, Sitting Bear, One Rib, Strikes Fire, Red Dog, and Charging Dog had decided on their own to attempt this dangerous and entirely selfless mission of mercy after hearing of the plight of the Lake Shetak captives. The hostile band of about one-hundred and eighty Santees was led by Chief White Lodge.

History states that they came upon the Santee encampment on the east side of the Missouri River at a point opposite the mouth of the Grand River. The Santees drove a hard bargain and the young Tetons had to give all of their worldly possessions, including their guns and horses, to effect
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the exchange. Only one horse and wagon was left to carry the weak and distraught captives the one hundred miles back to the nearest white settlement at Ft. Pierre. The Tetons walked and gave their clothes to the white women and children. This Christian act of mercy by the Tetons was never rewarded by the U.S. Government and no record can be found of any repayment for the personal possessions given in exchange.

Because the Santees had been on the warpath, the odds against success were very high. Thus, the Teton boys were dubbed the "Fool Soldiers Band."
Erected 1973 by Northern Oahe Historical Society, The S.D. Department of Highways and the South Dakota State Historical Society. (Marker Number 454.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Events. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1882.
Location. 45° 33.036′ N, 100° 27.039′ W. Marker is in Mobridge, South Dakota, in Walworth County. Marker can be reached from Grand Crossing Boulevard West, 0.1 miles south of 20th Street West. Located at the Klein Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1820 W Grand Crossing, Mobridge SD 57601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mobridge Bridge (here, next to this marker); Lewis & Clark
"Fool Soldier Band" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, April 30, 2017
2. "Fool Soldier Band" Marker
(a few steps from this marker); Pierre Choteau (a few steps from this marker); Ensign Nathaniel Pryor (a few steps from this marker); "MO.Bridge" (approx. 0.4 miles away); History Beneath the Waters (approx. 0.4 miles away); River of Hardship (approx. half a mile away); Lewis & Clark meet the Arikaras (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mobridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 422 times since then and 35 times this year. Last updated on September 4, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 23, 2024