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made and recruiting was commenced very act- did much towards preparing the way for the ively, several skeleton companies, partially filled opening and settlement of the North west, and for the Fifth Regiment, being already in the field. were repeated in 1863 and 1864.
Congress, at its extra session, commencing July Another important event was the completion of 4th, 1861 had authorized the issue of legal ten- the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad from St. der” notes, which were by this date, in large cir- Paul to St. Anthony, which was opened for culation. The result of this was to greatly en- traffic on June 28--the first line operated in our liven business and enhance prices. While govern- state. From that date on, railroad building was ment was expending in our state but a small rapidly carried on, on several of the lines. fraction of the enormous sums it was paying out While these encouraging events were in progin eastern States for materials of war, the results ress in our state, her brave troops, in Virginia and were unmistakably felt here. One effect was the Mississippi, were contending against great odds. gradual and almost complete withdrawal of coin, The Fourth and Fifth Regiments and the Second especially small coin from circulation. This oc- Battery, whose departure for “Dixie” was noted casioned great inconvenience in making change,” a few lines back, bad been pushed rapidly to the and various devices were used to overcome the front, and, being a part of the “Army of the Mistrouble. Postage stamps came into general use for sissippi,” were soon face to face with the enemy, fractional sums, and soon became a decided nui- in the great Corinth campaign. On May 28th sance. Then many of the cities and towns, as well the Fifth Regiment had a sharp action with the as business firms and banks, issued fractional enemy, in which several were killed, and a num“shin-plasters” as currency. The country was ber wounded, and won much praise for gallantry. soon flooded with these, and it proved an intolera- On July 12th, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., the ble nuisance. The issue of the Treasury Depart- Third Regiment was attacked by a greatly supement, soon after, of "postage currency,” some- rior force, and after a brave resistance, losing what relieved the dearth of small change. A twelve men, its ammunition became exhausted, steady enhancement in the price of goods, labor, and it was compelled to surrender. The men the cost of living, etc., commenced, from this date, were paroled a few weeks later. an inflation which lasted for two or three years. Meantime the First Regiment had taken an
The material development of the state pro- active part in a campaign of great danger and gressed during this period, notwithstanding the hardship. It had remained in its winter quarburdens and waste of war, and the fact that over ters, near Edward's Ferry, until March, when six thousand of our young men were withdrawn (attached to Sedgwick's Division) it proceeded to from productive industry. An increased area Winchester, from whence they were ordered to was sown. Immigration was becoming large, join the army of the Potomac near Fortress especially of Scandinavians. Further efforts were Monroe. In April they took part in the siege of also made to open and extend our area of trade Yorktown. From thence they participated in towards the northwest. The reported discovery McClellan's great Richmond campaign, and the of rich gold fields in the region now known as seven days fight.” At Seven Pines, or Fair Idaho and Montana, led to the formation of a Oaks, on May 31st and June 1st; at Peach Orchcompany of citizens to proceed thither overland. ard, June 29th; Savage's Station, June 29th; On May 14th, the expedition left St. Paul, and Glendale and White Oak Swamp, June 30th; arrived safely at the diggings. Congress had, Nelson's Farm, June 30th; Malvern Hills, July meantime, been appealed to for some protection 1st, the brave First took an active part, and sufto this emigration movement, and a small appro- fered severe-losses, with great hardship and conpriation was made for this purpose, and Captain tinual fighting. In all these engagements, it lost James L. Fisk appointed to organize and com- ninety men. At the Battle of Fair Oaks, the mand any party that might wish to go over. An- Second Sharp-Shooters was united with the First other expedition was organized and equipped, Regimet, and continued with them during the leaving on June 16th, and made a successful rest of the campaign. journey to the gold fields. These expeditions The disastrous termination of the operations the same place. Sixty-two delegates answered House of Representatives, there was some curithe call, and among those present, were W. D. osity manifested among the members, to see what Phillips, J. W. Bass, A. Larpenteur, J. M. Boal, kind of a person had been elected to represent the and others from Saint Paul. To the convention distant and wild territory claiming representation a letter was presented from Mr. Catlin, who in Congress. I was told by a New England memclaimed to be acting governor, giving his opinion ber with whom I became subsequently quite intithat the Wisconsin territorial organization was mate, that there was some disappointment when still in force. The meeting also appointed Mr. I made my appearance, for it was expected that Sibley to visit Washington and represent their the delegate from this remote region would make views; but the Hon. John H. Tweedy having his debut, if not in full Indian costume, at least, resigned his office of delegate to Congress on with some peculiarities of dress and manners, September eighteenth, 1848, Mr. Catlin, who had characteristic of the rude and semi-civilized peomade Stillwater a temporary residence, on the ple who had sent him to the Capitol.” ninth of October issued a proclamation ordering The territory of Minnesota was named after a special election at Stillwater on the thirtieth, the largest tributary of the Mississippi within its to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation. | limits. The Sioux call the Missouri MinneshoAt this election Henry H. Sibley was elected as shay, muddy water, but the stream after which delegate of the citizens of the remaining portion this region is named, Minne-sota. Some say that of Wisconsin Territory. His credentials were Sota means clear; others, turbid; Schoolcraft, presented to the House of Representatives, and bluish green. Nicollet wrote. “ The adjective the committee to whom the matter was referred Sotah is of difficult translation. The Canadians presented a majority and minority report; but translated it by a pretty equivalent word, brouille, the resolution introduced by the majority passed perhaps more properly rendered into English by and Mr. Sibley took his seat as a delegate from blear. I have entered upon this explanation be Wisconsin Territory on the fifteenth of January, cause the word really means neither clear nor 1849.
turbid, as some authors have asserted, its true Mr. H. M. Rice, and other gentlemen, visited meaning being found in the Sioux expression Washington during the winter, and, uniting with Ishtah-sotah, blear-eyed.” From the fact that the Mr. Sibley, used all their energies to obtain the word signifies neither blue nor white, but the organization of a new territory.
peculiar appearance of the sky at certain times, Mr. Sibley, in an interesting communication to by some, Minnesota has been defined to mean the the Minnesota Historical Society, writes: “ When sky tinted water, which is certainly poetic, and the my credentials as Delegate, were presented by late Rev. Gideon H. Pond thought quite correct. Hon. James Wilson, of New Hampshire, to the
MINNESOTA FROM ITS ORGANIZATION AS A TERRITORY, A. D. 1849, TO A. D. 1854.
Appearance of the Country, A. D. 1849 - Arrival of first Editor - Governor
Ramsey arrives - Guest of H. H. Sibley – Proclamation issued - Governor Ramsey and M. Rice move to Saint Paul-Fourth of July CelebrationFirst election--Early newspapers-First Courts - First Legislature-Pioneer News Carrier's Address-Wedding at Fort Spelling--Territorial Seal--Scalp Dance at Stillwater-- First Steamboat at Falls of Saint Anthony-Presbyterian Chapel burned--Indian council at Fort Snelling-First Steamboat above Saint Anthony--First boat at the Blue Earth River--Congressional election-Visit of Fredrika Bremer-Indian newspaper-Other newspapers-Second Legislature -University of Minnesota-Teamster killed by Indians-Sioux Treaties- Third Legislature -Land slide at Stillwater-Death of first Editor-Fourth Legislature Baldwin School, now Macalester College-Indian fight in Saint Paul.
On the third of March, 1819, the bill was passed by Congress for organizing the territory of Minnesota, whose boundary on the west, extended to the Missouri River. At this time, the region was little more than a wilderness. The west bank of the Mississippi, from the Iowa line to Lake Itasca, was unceded by the Indians.
At Wapashaw, was a trading post in charge of Alexis Bailly, and here also resided the ancient voyageur, of fourscore years, A. Rɔcque.
At the foot of Lake Pepin was a store house kept by Mr. F. S. Richards. On the west shore of the lake lived the eccentric Wells, whose wife was a bois brule, a daughter of the deceased trader, Duncan Graham.
The two unfinished buildings of stone, on the beautiful bank opposite the renowned Maiden's Rock, and the surrounding skin lodges of his wife's relatives and friends, presented a rude but picturesque scene.
Above the lake was a cluster of bark wigwams, the Dahkotah village of Raymneecha, now Red Wing, at which was a Presbyterian mission house.
The next settlement was Kaposia, also an Indian village, and the residence of a Presbyterian missionary, the Rev. T. S. Williamson, M. D. On the east side of the Mississippi, the first settlement, at the mouth of the St. Croix, was Point Douglas, then as now, a small hamlet.
At Red Rock, the site of a former Methodist mission station, there were a few farmers. Saint Paul was just emerging from a collection of Indian whisky shops and birch roofed cabins of
half-breed voyageurs Here and there a frame tenement was erected, and, under the auspices of the Hon. H. M. Rice, who had obtained an interest in the town, some warehouses were constructed, and the foundations of the American House, a frame hotel, which stood at Third and Exchange street, were laid. In 1819, the population had increased to two hundred and fifty or three hundred inhabitants, for rumors had gone abroad that it might be mentioned in the act, creating the territory, as the capital of Minnesota. More than month after the adjournment of Congress, just at eve, on the ninth of April, amid terrific peals of thunder and torrents of rain, the weekly steam packet, the first to force its way through the icy barrier of Lake Pepin, rounded the rocky point whistling loud and long, as if the bearer of glad tidings. Before she was safely moored to the landing, the shouts of the excited villagers were heard announcing that there was a territory of Minnesota, and that Saint Paul was the seat of government.
Every successive steamboat arrival poured out on the landing men big with hope, and anxious to do something to mould the future of the new state.
Nine days after the news of the existence of the territory of Minnesota was received, there arrived James M. Goodhue with press, type, and printing apparatus. A graduate of Amherst college, and a lawyer by profession, he wielded a sharp pen, and wrote editorials, which, more than anything else, perhaps, induced immigration. Though a man of some faults, one of the counties properly bears his name. On the twenty-eighth of April, he issued from his press the first number of the Pioneer.
On the twenty - seventh of May, Alexander Ramsey, the Governor, and family, arrived at Saint Paul, butowing to the crowded state of pubwhich was now renewed. They then proposed shooting at a mark with Baker and Jones, which was done. After discharging their guns, the Indians at once reloaded, and commenced firing on the whites. Jones and his wife, and Baker and Webster were killed, and Miss Wilson, Mrs. Baker and child, and Mrs. Webster, were unhurt. The four Indian murderers then stole horses in the neighborhood, and rode rapidly, during the night, to the Indian village near the agency, where they told what they had done, and urged that, as blood had been spilt, and they would suffer the penalty, they must all unite and exterminate the whites. The other Indians then armed themselves, and at sunrise, Aug. 18, the work of the death commenced, at the Lower Sioux Agency, near Red Wood. It is strongly asserted by other writers, who give good reasons for the belief, that the Indians collected at the Agency had all ready demanded on the massacre, and commenced it on the 18th, without knowing of the events at Acton.
The first victim to this hellish plot was James W. Lynde, a clerk in the trading house of Nathan Myrick. He was a man of fine attainments, and had written a work on the History and Religion of the Dakotas, which was just ready for publicatior. Three other persons were killed at the same store. At Forbes' trading house, near by, George H. Spencer, the clerk, was badly wounded, when his life was saved by the interposition of a friendly Indian, named Chaska, who protected him until he recovered. Other white persons in and near the houses at the agency, were either killed or wounded, within a few minutes. At this point the Indians ceased their carnage, in order to plunder the stores and government warehouses, and this delay enabled Rev. S. D. IIinman and some other whites, to escape to Fort Ridgely, spreading the alarm as they went.
After a brief time spent by the savages in robbing the stores, they continued their work of carnage in every direction. They were soon joined by the warriors of the other bands, and, to the number of two or three hundred, spread through the settlements for several miles up and down the river, murdering all the whites whom they could find, excepting a few young womem, whom they took captive, and in many instances burning the houses of the settlers.
Meantime, the whites at the upper, or Yellow Medicine Agency, some thirty miles distant, were in ignorance of these dreadful scenes, and of the danger which threatened them. It was not until nearly night when John Other-Day, a Christian Indian, brought them the dreadful news, and warned them to save their lives. The whites, sixty-two in number, at once took refuge in a warehouse; but flight seemed the only safe course, and before daylight the next morning, they were on their way across the prairies towards Henderson, the men on foot, and the women and children, with S. B. Garvie, who had escaped from his warehouse, after being badly wounded, in wagons. The noble Other-Day piloted them truly and skillfully. This party, after great hardships, arrived safely at the settlements on the Minnesota river, and thence to St. Paul, though Mr. Garvie died on the way. The two missionaries, Messrs. Williamson and Riggs, also escaped, with their families, after suffering much hardship.
On Monday morning, August 18th, about three hours after the first outbreak at Red Wood agency, a messenger from that place arrived at Fort Ridgely, twelve miles distant, with the startling news. Captain Marsh, Company B, Fifth Regiment, then in command, at once dispatched a courier to Lieutenant Sheehan, Company C, Fifth Regiment, who, with his detachment, had left the post the morning previous on his return to Fort Ripley, and also to Major Galbraith, who had left at the same time for St. Peter, with about fifty recruits, called the “Renville Rangers," en-route for Fort Snelling, urging them to return at once. Captain Marsh at once left for the scene of carnage, with forty-four men on foot. After a forced march, he arrived about 2 o'clock P. M. at the ferry opposite the Agency, near which place they found nine dead bodies. They were met here by Rev. Mr. Hinman, on his way to the fort, who cautioned Capt. Marsh against an ambuscade, and warned him to return, as the Indians greatly outnumbered his force. Captain Marsh, who was a very brave but very rash man, would not listen to the advice, declaring that he could “whip all the Indians," or something to that effect. Arriving at the ferry, his men were drawn up on the bank, in plain sight, when three or four hundred Indians concealed in the thickets
near by, poured a volley into them. Nearly half the savages, that the inhabitants were overtaken at of his men fell dead or mortally wounded at the their various pursuits and butchered in cold blood, first fire, some of them pierced with twenty bul- without any chance of flight or resistance. Most lets, while several others were wounded, but of them were European immigrants who had remanaged ultimately to escape ; some of them not cently settled on the frontier, and were quite unreaching the fort for three days. The survivors acquainted with savage warfare and treachery. of this sudden attack (Captain Marsh being himself But few of them possessed effective fire-arms, or uninjured) fell back from the ferry towards the weapons of any kind, indeed, and even if they fort, keeping up a running fight amidst the thick had these, so sudden and stealthy was the onset, timber on the river bottom, but against terrible that resistance would have been unavailing. The odds.
savages generally went about on these raids in Rushing up to the fallen soldiers, the savages squads of eight or ten, well armed. In many tomahawked those still living, and tore the scalps instances the treacherous devils would advance from most of them, inflicting also nameless bru- boldly and with friendly demeanor into houses talities on their corpses.
All the fine Springfield with whose owners they were acquainted, as if muskets carried by the dead, and their ammuni- to ask for food, (as was their custom, for the settion, fell into the hands of the redskins, and were tlers had always freely supplied them); when all subsequently used by them, with deadly effect, at at once they would shoot down or tomahawk the sieges of Fort Ridgely and New Ulm, and the the unsuspecting inmates, perhaps the very perbattle of Birch Coolie. The remains of the fallen sons who had many times fed them when hunheroes were ultimately interred at Fort Ridgely, gry. In a few instances children, and sometimes and the legislature, some years subsequently, adults, fled unobserved while this work of death caused a fine monument to be erected there in was going on, and escaped a like fate by skulking honor of their bravery.
in the grass or bushes, from whence they were For some time a hot battle raged in the forest, often compelled to witness the cruel tortures Capt. Marsh and his men retreating towards the practiced on the other members of their family, fort, contesting the ground, inch by inch. Find- or flee for life with the death shrieks of the suffering that his men were falling fast, and that the ing victims ringing in their ears. Some of those enemy was gathering in force ahead of him, so as who escaped thus, were rescued many days subto cut him off, he determined to cross the river, sequently, after enduring incredible hardships, so as to gain the open prairie on that side, and skulking by day around deserted houses, endeavreach the fort, if possible. He had now but thir- oring to find food, and wandering by night teen men left. At their head he attempted to through the trackless waste, towards the settlewade the river, but was drowned while so doing. ments. Delicate women, carrying or leading inHis men got over in safety, and made their way fant children, thus traveled scores of miles to to the fort about dark. Out of the forty-four some place of safety, sometimes wounded and who had left it that morning, twenty-four were sick and almost naked. Many perished from dead. Thus ended the Battle of Redwood Ferry, hunger, exposure or wounds. Others lived, to the first engagement of the war. The Indians, it suffer for years from their injuries. There is thought, lost only one or two warriors.
were literally hundreds of such incidents as the Flushed with this easy victory in their first above, and a full narrative of these adventures encounter with our troops, the Indians now con- and escapes would fill volumes. No record can sidered that the way was clear for their bloody ever be made of them, and the fate of many will war of extermination. They scattered in every never be known until the last day. direction, carrying death and torture to the homes The cruel barbarities practiced by the savages of all the settlers within reach. For several days on their victims, was another sickening feature the work of carnage was awful. No pen can of the massacre, and its bare recita) makes one describe the horrors of that bloody week. So
shudder. All the fiendish cruelties that their sudden and unexpected was the outbreak, and so savage nature and pent up hatred of the pale insidious and skulking the mode of warfare of faces could suggest, they wreaked on their vic