Near Courtland in Brown County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Evacuation of New Ulm
When the Second Battle of New Ulm ended on the morning of August 24, 1862, the city lay nearly in ruins. Fearing that it would surely fall if attacked again, Colonel Charles Flandrau ordered the entire city to evacuate. The next day more than 2,000 people left by caravan, bound for Mankato 30 miles away. When their ordeal was over, many of the evacuees chose to return to New Ulm, ready to rebuild their lives. Others left southern Minnesota, never to return.
Colonel Flandrau had cause to worry about the citizens of New Ulm. After two attacks in six days at the height of the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, food and water supplies in the city were low, the threat of disease from poor sanitation was high, and ammunition stocks were nearly depleted. So at mid-morning on August 25, some 2,000 people left town on foot and on horseback, with 153 wagons carrying the injured, sick and aged.
Armed militia covered the head, flanks and tail of the caravan as it stretched out for four miles along the south bluffs of the Minnesota River valley. Traveling under the hot August sun, hungry, thirsty and already exhausted
Despite the difficult journey, most of the caravan made Mankato by evening. To ward off a possible attack, the rear guard of 150 militiamen camped for the night near Judson and arrived in Mankato the next day. From Mankato, many of the injured continued on to St. Peter, 10 miles away. Some of the evacuees departed soon afterward to set about rebuilding their city. Some stayed in Mankato for a while to recuperate and rethink their future. And some left southern Minnesota forever.
On September 26 came word that some of the Dakota had surrendered at Camp Release and turned over all their captives. At last, it was time for the New Ulm evacuees to return home.
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.
This project has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Erected 2012 by the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Wars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1812.
Location. 44° 15.014′ N, 94° 21.546′ W. Marker is near Courtland, Minnesota, in Brown County. Marker is on State Highway 68 0.8 miles west of 480th Lane (County Highway 45), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 47572 State Highway 68, New Ulm MN 56073, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Courtland (approx. 1½ miles away); Searles (approx. 3.9 miles away); Cottonwood Twp. Evangelical Church and Cemetery (approx. 3.9 miles away); Adams Park (approx. 4.8 miles away); Father Valentine Sommereisen (approx. 4.8 miles Junior Pioneers of New Ulm and Vicinity (approx. 5.1 miles away); The Wallachei (approx. 5.4 miles away); 2011 Centennial of The Church of St. Mary (approx. 6.1 miles away).
More about this marker. captions:
• Colonel Charles Flandrau leading the New Ulm caravan to Mankato. “Flight from New Ulm to Mankato,” a panorama by New Ulm artists Anton Gág, Christian Heller and Alexander Schwendinger, ca. 1892. Minnesota Historical Society
• Evacuation Route · Map created by Eric Cronin, Gustavus Adolphus College, for Terry Sveine for use by the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway
Regarding The Evacuation of New Ulm. In August 1862, the Minnesota Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux," waged war against the United States following two years of unfulfilled treaty obligations. After attacking the Redwood (Lower Sioux) Agency, a remote government outpost, the Dakota moved with speed and surprise across southwestern Minnesota and what was then eastern Dakota Territory, killing nearly everyone in their path. They killed approximately 800 settlers and soldiers, took many prisoners, and caused extensive property damage throughout the Minnesota River Valley.
Also see . . .
1. 1862 Dakota War. "It was the largest Indian war in American history. The main battleground was the entire Minnesota River Valley in southern and central Minnesota. The uprising spread into the Dakota Territories and sent panic into Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. In Minnesota, Indians did mass attacks on a fort and an entire town - both twice. Contrary to what folklore and Hollywood tell us, this was almost unheard of in any of the Indian campaigns....To this day, that number of civilians killed on American soil as a result of hostile action is exceeded only by the attacks on 9/11." (Submitted on May 17, 2014.)
2. The US-Dakota War of 1862. (Submitted on May 17, 2014.)
3. Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway. (Submitted on May 17, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 966 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 17, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.