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

Fort Ridgely State Monument

Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
1. Fort Ridgely State Monument
Fort Ridgely
east face
In memory of the fallen; in recognition
of the living; and for the emulation
of future generations.

    Erected A.D. 1896, by the State of Minnesota, to preserve the site of Fort Ridgely, a United States military post established in 1853, and especially to perpetuate the names and commemorate the heroism of the soldiers and citizens of the State, who successfully defended the Fort during nine days of siege and investment, August 18-27, 1862, and who gallantly resisted two formidable and protracted assaults upon it, made August 20 and 22, 1862, by a vastly superior force of Sioux Indians under command of Little Crow and other noted Indian leaders and warriors.

    August 18, 1862, the Sioux Indians of the Upper Minnesota River, in violation of their treaties, broke into open rebellion, and within a few days thereafter, massacred about one thousand citizens in the south western part of the State, and destroyed property of the value of millions of dollars. Many men, women and children fled to Fort Ridgely and were under its protection during the siege. The successful defense of the Fort
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
2. Fort Ridgely State Monument
north side
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by its garrison, consisting of parts of Companies B and C, Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, the "Renville Rangers," and citizens and refugees, was very largely instrumental in saving other portions of Minnesota from ravage and devastation, and greatly contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Indians and their expulsion from the State.

    During the entire siege of Fort Ridgely, the garrison was skillfully commanded by Lieut. Timothy J. Sheehan, of Co. C, 5th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry. He was ably assisted by Lieut. Norman K. Culver, Co. B, of the same regiment, Acting Post Quartermaster and Commissary, in charge of detachments; Lieut. Thos. P Gere, Co. B, 5th Minnesota Infantry, in command of the portion of his company present, {Capt. John F. Marsh and 23 men of that company, and Peter Quinn, U. S. Interpreter, having been killed by the Indians at Redwood Ferry, August 18, 1862}; Lieut. James Gorman, in command of the Renville Rangers; Hon. Benj. H. Randall, in charge of armed citizens; Ordnance Sergeant John Jones, of the Regular Army, in general charge of the Artillery, with Sergt. James G. McGrew, Co. B., 5th Minnesota Infantry, and Mr. John C. Whipple, each in charge of a gun. Dr. Alfred Muller, Post Surgeon. The names of the other defenders of the Fort appear elsewhere on this monument.

Renville Rangers, 1st Lieut. James Gorman, Commanding,
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
3. Fort Ridgely State Monument
west side
Sergts. Theophile Richer, John McCole, Warren Carey.
Corpls. Louis Arner, Dieudonne Sylvestre, Roufer Burger.
Privates. Urgel Amiot, Joseph Auge, Geo. Bakerman, Rocque Berthiaume, Ed. Bibeau, John Bourcier, Pierre Boyer, Samuel Brunnelle, David Carpenter, Antoine Chose, Geo. Dagenais, Fred. Denzer, Henry Denzer, Alexis Demerce, Francois Demerce, Carlton Dickinson, James Delaney, Louis Demeule, Joseph Fortier, (w'd), B. H. Goodell, R. L. Hoback, Geo. La Batte, Fred. La Croix, Joseph La Tour, Cyprian LeClaire, (w'd), Medard Lucier, Moses Mireau, Theophile Morin, A. B. Murch, Ernest Paul, Henry Pflaume, Henry Pierce, Joseph Pereau, Thos. T. Quinn, Magloire Robidoux, Chas. Robert, Joseph Robinette, (w'd), Francois Stay.

Armed Citizens, B. H. Randall, Commanding.
Wm. Anderson, Robt. Baker, (killed), Werner Boesch, Louis Brisbois, Wm. Butler, Clement Cardinal, M. A. Dailey, J. W. De Camp, Frank Diepolder, Henry Diepolder, Alfred Dufrene, J. C. Fenske, (w'd), Jo. Jack Frazer, T. J. Galbraith, E. A. C. Hatch, Patrick Heffron, Geo. P. Hicks, Keran Horan, John Hose, Joseph Koehler, Louis La Croix, James B. Magner, John Magner, Oliver Martelle, Pierre Martelle, John Moyer, John Nairn, Dennis O'Shea, Joseph Overbaugh, B. F. Pratt, J. C. Ramsey, John Resoft, Adam Rieke, August Rieke, Geo. Rieke, Heinrich Rieke, (died), Victor Rieke, Louis Robert, Louis
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
4. Fort Ridgely State Monument
Sharon, Chris. Schlumberger, Gustav Stafford, Joshua Sweet, Louis Thiele, Nikolas Thinnes, Onesime Vanasse, (killed), A. J. Van Voorhes, John Walter, J. C. Whipple, C. G. Wykoff; Xavier Zolner.

A number of women cheerfully and bravely assisted in the defense of the Fort.
The following named rendered especially valuable services: Anna Boesch, Kenney Bradford, Elizabeth M. Dunn, Margaret King Hern, Mary A. Heffron, Eliza Müller, Juliette McAllister, Mary D. Overbaugh, Agnes Overbaugh, Julia Peterson, Mrs. E. Picard, Mrs. E. Pereau, Wilhemina Randall, Valencia J. Reynolds, Mary Rieke, Mrs. R. Schmahl, Mrs. Spencer, Julia Sweet, Elizabeth West.

Ezekiel Rose, Co. B. 5th Reg't. Minn. Vols., was wounded when Capt. Marsh and 22 men of his company were ambushed and killed. Sergt. J. F. Bishop, Co. B. 5th Minn. Vols., was in charge of a reserve gun during the siege.
The following citizens also rendered valuable services. Rev. S. D. Hinman, Alfred Valliant, John Robinson, James B. Robinson, W.R. La Framboise, John Loeffelmacher, Henry Elfkamp, Peter Glaser, Patrick Murnane, Wm. Haley, Wm. Smith, John Smith and Miss Elizabeth West.

Co. C. 5th Minn. Infty., 1st Lieut. T. J. Sheehan, Commanding.
Sergts. John P Hicks, F. A. Blackmer, (w'd) John C. Ross.
Corpls. M. A. Chamberlain, Z. C. Butler, Wm. Young, Dennis Porter, (w'd).
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
5. Fort Ridgely State Monument
south side
S. P Beighley, E. D. Brooks, J. M. Brown, J. L. Bullock, Chas. E. Chapel, Zachariah Chute, Sidney Cook, L. H. Decker, Chas. Dills, Chas. H. Dills, Daniel Dills, S. W. Dogan, L. A. Eggleston, Halvor Elefson, Martin Ellingson, C. J. Grandy, Mark M. Greer, (killed), J. P. Green, A. K. Grout, Andrew Gulbranson, Peter E. Harris, (w'd) Philo Henry, James Honan, D. N. Hunt, L. C. Jones, N. I. Lowthian, A. J. Luther, (w'd), John Malachy, John McCall, Orlando McFall, F. M. McReynolds, J. H. Mead, J. B. Miller, Dennis Morean, Peter Nisson, Andrew Peterson, J. M. Rice, Chas. A. Rose, B. F., Ross, Edward Roth, C. O. Russell, W. S. Russell, Isaac Shortledge, (w'd), Josiah Weakley, G. H. Wiggins, J. M. Albright, James Young.

Co. B, 5th Minn. Infy., 1st Lieut. N. K. Culver, Post Quartermaster and Commissary.
2nd Lieut. Thos. P Gere, Commanding.
Sergts. Jas. G. McGrew, A. C. Ellis, Jno. F. Bishop.
Corpls. W. E. Winslow, T. D. Huntley, C. H. Hawley, Michael Pfremer, Arthur McAllister, Allen Smith, J. C. McLean.
Drummer, Chas. M. Culver, Wagoner, Elias Hoyt.
Privates. Geo. M. Annis, Jas. M. Atkins, Chas. H. Baker, Chas. Beecher, Wm. H. Blodgett, Christ. Boyer, John Brennan, L. M. Carr, W. H. H. Chase, James Dunn, Caleb Elphee, A. J. Fauver, J. W. Foster, Columbia French, Ambrose Gardner, Wm. Good, (w'd),, W. B. Hutchinson, L. W. Ives, J. W. Lester,
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
6. Fort Ridgely State Monument
east face
Isaac Lindsey, Henry Martin, J. L. McGill, (w'd), John McGowan, J. M. Munday, Jas. Murray, E. F. Nehrhood, Thos. Parsley, W. J. Perrington, H. F. Pray, Antoin Rebenski, Heber Robinson, Andrew Rufridge, (w'd), Lauren Scripture, John Serfling, R. J. Spornitz, (w'd), Saml. Steward, Wm. J. Sturgis, Wm. A. Sutherland, Ole Svendson, M. J. Tanner, J. F. Taylor, J. A. Underwood, Stephen Van Buren, Eli Wait, O. G. Wall, A. W. Williamson, M. H. Wilson.
Erected 1896 by the State of Minnesota. (Marker Number 8.)
Topics. This memorial monument is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1896.
Location. 44° 27.178′ N, 94° 44.063′ W. Marker is near Fairfax, Minnesota, in Nicollet County. Memorial can be reached from County Highway 30 1.1 miles west of State Highway 4, on the right when traveling west. Monument is in Fort Ridgely State Park; fee area – a Minnesota state park vehicle permit is required. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 72404 County State Aid Highway 30, Fairfax MN 55332, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reinforcements Arrive (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers' Quarters—A (within shouting distance of this marker); A Far Cry from Glory (within shouting distance of this marker);
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
7. Fort Ridgely State Monument
west side
Four Days From Fort Snelling (within shouting distance of this marker); Five Days and Nights on the River (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers' Quarters—C (within shouting distance of this marker); A Doctor's Life (within shouting distance of this marker); Stone Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax.
More about this monument. This monument was the eighth of 23 state monuments that were erected by the Minnesota legislature between 1873 and 1929. These monuments represent Minnesota's first public efforts to mark historic sites.
Regarding Fort Ridgely State Monument. 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. Early in the morning of August 18, 1862, a large party of Dakota warriors attacked the Lower Sioux Agency; a few escapees managed to reach Fort Ridgely.
Also see . . .
1. Battle Summary: Fort Ridgely. National Park Service. "The fort’s commander, Capt. John S. Marsh, set out with most of his men for the Lower Sioux Agency. Before reaching the agency, a large Native American force surprised the soldiers, killed half of them, including Marsh, and pursued the survivors back to the fort. On August 20,
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
8. Fort Ridgely State Monument
south side
about 400 Sioux attacked the fort but were repulsed. On the 22nd, 800 Sioux attacked the fort again, but the garrison and civilians held the fort." (Submitted on December 13, 2013.) 

2. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-1865. The Sioux Indian War. Official reports and correspondence.
• Battle of Redwood. Report of First Lieut. John F. Bishop. "No official report of this affair was ever made or called for, so far as I know... I now submit the following account of the facts as I remember them, that they may be used, so far as required, in making up the history of those memorable days. The first indication of an Indian outbreak we saw at Fort Ridgley was a team from the Lower Sioux Agency, bringing in a citizen badly wounded and pleading for help... Captain Marsh at once ordered the long roll sounded [a drumroll used as an alarm - immediate assembly under arms], and the whole company fell in, about 85 men strong..."
• Battle of Fort Ridgley. Reports of First Lieut. Timothy J. Sheehan and Ordnance Sergt. John Jones. (Submitted on December 13, 2013.) 
Additional keywords. U.S.-Dakota War
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
9. Fort Ridgely State Monument
Fifty-two foot granite shaft
Dedicated August 20, 1896
Fort Ridgely State Monument image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
10. Fort Ridgely State Monument
Fort Ridgely Historic Site
National Register of Historic Places #70000304
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 13, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,053 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on December 13, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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May. 15, 2021