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

The Battle of Birch Coulee

Mah-Ka-To

 
 
The Battle of Birch Coulee Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
1. The Battle of Birch Coulee Marker
Inscription.
600 feet south,
in the ravine
the whites were
attacked by the
Sioux Indians
under Mah-Ka-To
Sept. 2, 1862.

 
Erected 1898 by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society.
 
Location. 44° 34.651′ N, 94° 58.505′ W. Marker is near Morton, Minnesota, in Renville County. Marker is at the intersection of 690th Avenue (County Road 2) and 350th Street, on the right when traveling east on 690th Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is along the northern edge of the Birch Coulee Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Morton MN 56270, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Battle Ends (about 300 feet away); After the Battle (about 500 feet away); Battle Scars (about 600 feet away); "A Beautiful Place to Encamp" (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Birch Coulee (about 800 feet away); Wrong Place, Wrong Time (approx. 0.2 miles away); Two Men, One War (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morton.
 
More about this marker. In 1862, the Minnesota
The Battle of Birch Coulee Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
2. The Battle of Birch Coulee Marker
looking south
Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux," waged war against the United States following two years of unfulfilled treaty obligations.

The defenses of New Ulm, Fort Ridgely and Birch Coulie were as gallant episodes as any that are recorded in the military annals of the Republic, and yet the American historian commonly gives them but the briefest mention, or omits them entirely from his pages... 868 men, women, and children perished by actual count. Those killed whose remains were never found and the soldiers and citizens killed or mortally wounded in the hostile engagements with the Indians made the total death list number at least 950.
Mankato was a sub-chief of the Medawakantons, and at the time of the outbreak his little village was on the borders of the Lower Agency. His proper name was Mah-kah-to, which means Blue Earth. He was killed in the battle of Wood Lake.
excerpts from: Monuments and Tablets Erected by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society 1902

The Minnesota Valley Historical Society was composed of citizens of Renville and Redwood counties, that contracted with the Peterson Granite Company of St. Paul, to identify and mark historic sites. "As time passes the exact sites of many or these memorable incidents are liable to be lost, and the society wisely concluded to locate and mark them now, while there are living witnesses
Looking towards the Ravine image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 25, 2013
3. Looking towards the Ravine
Birch Coulee Battlefield
National Register of Historic Places #73000995
and other competent authorities to designate them."
source: New Ulm Review; January 27, 1897
 
Also see . . .
1. Birch Coulee Battlefield. Minnesota Historical Society. History. "The battle of Birch Coulee was fought on Sept. 2 and 3, 1862. On Sept. 1, a burial detail of 160 to 170 soldiers and civilians was dispatched from Fort Ridgely to bury the remains of settlers who had been killed in the early weeks of the U.S.-Dakota War. At the end of their first day out, a flat, open piece of ground near Birch Coulee Creek was selected for the night’s camp. During the night, the detail was surrounded by Dakota, who attacked at dawn. Badly outnumbered and highly exposed, the detail was under siege for nearly 36 hours." (Submitted on October 16, 2013.) 

2. Birch Coulee Battlefield. Wikipedia entry. "Birch Coulee was the site of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the deadliest battles of the Dakota War of 1862." (Submitted on October 16, 2013.) 
 
Additional keywords. U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
 
Categories. Wars, US Indian
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 16, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 239 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 16, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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