Near Fairfax in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
A Second Wave of Attacks
The Dakota plan of attack on August 22 was the same as on the 20th—a volley of three shots from the north, followed by a rush of warriors from the east, south, and west. The plan was disrupted again when a mail carrier was spotted on the New Ulm road. Warriors positioned by the road killed the carrier with three shots. Mistaking the shots for a signal, Dakota on the south and west launched a premature attack. Despite this mishap, the fighting was fierce.
Tasina Wakanhdi (Lightning Blanket) recalled that "During the day many small buildings were burned, and we tried to burn the big ones with fire arrows." The warriors moved into the fort's stables and sutler's store, but those buildings went up in flames after they were shelled. After several hours, the attack began to falter. The warriors were divided in their opinions. Some wanted to wage another battle, while others wanted to attack New Ulm again for the spoils.
The sutler's store that Tasina Wakanhdi refers to stood west of the post in the direction you are facing. The stable, which also burned on August 22, was south of the fort.
Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 27.157′ N, 94° 44.11′ W. Marker is near Fairfax, Minnesota, in Renville County. Marker can be reached from County Highway 30 1.1 miles west of State Highway 4, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in Fort Ridgely State Park; fee area – a Minnesota state park vehicle permit is required. Marker is at or near this postal address: 72404 County State Aid Highway 30, Fairfax MN 55332, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Surprise Attack at Redwood Ferry (here, next to this marker); Surgeon's Quarters—Headquarters (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); Reinforcements Arrive (within shouting distance of this marker); Five Days and Nights on the River (within shouting distance of this marker); Economic Engine (within shouting distance of this marker); Four Days From Fort Snelling (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax.
More about this marker. caption: David Geister, Attack from the West, Friday, August 22, 1862, 2005
Also see . . .
1. Battle Summary: Fort Ridgely. National Park Service. "In August 1862, the Santee Sioux of Minnesota under Chief Little Crow... killed approximately 800 settlers and soldiers, took many prisoners, and caused extensive property damage throughout the Minnesota River Valley.... On August 20, 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 February 9, 2014.)
2. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-1865. The Sioux Indian War. Official reports and correspondence. Battle of Fort Ridgley. Report of First Lieut. Timothy J. Sheehan.
"On the 22d they returned with a much larger force and attacked us on all sides, but the most determined was on the east and west corner of the fort, which are in the immediate vicinity of ravines. The west corner was also covered by stables and log buildings, which afforded the Indians great protection, and, in order to protect the garrison, I ordered them to be destroyed... [It was] one of the most determined attacks ever made by Indians on a military post." (Submitted on February 9, 2014.)
3. Battle of Fort Ridgely. Wikipedia entry. "Little Crow and the other native chiefs maintained their siege until August 27, when Colonel Henry H. Sibley arrived with 1,400 trained militia." (Submitted on February 9, 2014.)
Additional keywords. Battle of Fort Ridgely; U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 9, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 321 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 9, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.