“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.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, April 29, 2017
1. "Fool Soldier Band" Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the 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,
"Fool Soldier Band" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, April 30, 2017
2. "Fool Soldier Band" Marker
to effect 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.
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 Blvd. W 0.1 miles south of 20th Street W. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Klein Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1820 West Grand Crossing, Mobridge SD 57601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mobridge Bridge (here, next to this marker); Ensign Nathaniel Pryor (a few steps from this marker); Lewis & Clark (a few steps from this marker); Pierre Choteau (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.
Categories. Notable Events
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 107 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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