The year is 1862. The United States is engulfed in the most violent conflict in its history.
The frontier state of Minnesota is one of the newest added to the union at only 4 years old. The Dakota, a band of tribes located in the Sioux reservation, were not given the provisions promised by treaty and began to starve. They rose up and attacked surrounding white settlements in retaliation.
This video was originally only going to be a weekend motocamping trip out to a Dakota holy site to eat buffalo, wild rice, and sleep in a tipi. The experience was supposed to be a 'live like a Dakota weekend' but it ended up becoming season 2 of 2W1C.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E01: What was the Dakota War?
Anthropology plays a huge part in this conflict.
The definition of Sioux is historical in origin as well as linguistic in classification. This video is a little bit about being politically correct, but mainly it's to clarify what two sides were in the conflict.
The Dakota are called warriors, Sioux or Native, and the Minnesotans are called soldiers, settlers, or White.
Calling the natives 'Indians' isn't politically correct, however, the US does have a 'Bureau of Indian Affairs' that handles relationships between reservations and the US government. Again, reasons for these are historical.
In short, if you're going to do a story on a war, you'd better get the two sides right.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E02: Why they are the 'Sioux'
Because the Dakota had lost most of their hunting land, they were completely dependent on 'agencies' to survive. The US government would give food to the Dakota in these agencies as promised by treaty. They had little understanding of agriculture and very little money.
The Civil War to the south strained supplies and the Dakota had to go without. Little Crow, a Dakota chief, brought together bands of Dakota warriors and attacked the agency in retaliation.
In this video I visit the Lower Sioux Agency where the Minnesotans were taken completely off guard.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E03: Now is the Time- This Means War
Much of the able-bodied soldiers in Minnesota were off fighting the Confederacy to the South. The local military, stationed at Fort Ridgely, sent out a detail of soldiers to check on the agency and to quell the violence.
What they ran into they didn't expect. Instead of stopping a local squabble, the soldiers found themselves face to face with a few hundred warriors on horseback who had already slaughtered dozens of Minnesotans.
Little Crow's warriors swarmed the countryside unchecked attacking defenseless white settlements.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E04: Open War on the Prairie
The town of New Ulm was the first major resistance the Dakota Warriors ran into when pillaging the Minnesota River Valley.
New Ulm was founded by German immigrants. The reasons why they came to the states are many. In Minnesota they were able to practice their beliefs on the American frontier away from xenophobic Americans who were not too happy to see the influx of central European immigration.
Instead they found themselves under attack by the Native Dakota of the region. They were smack dab in the middle of the Minnesotan Dakota War.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E05: Hermann & The Turners (New Ulm I)
The Schell's Brewery of New Ulm is the 2nd oldest brewery in the United States. When it was only 2 years old it was caught up in the Dakota War.
The War wasn't the only test of the Brewery's resolve. They also had to contend with Prohibition and the Light Beer fads of the 60s and onward. They've leaped across a few hurdles to get to where they are today.
I'd suggest visiting the brewery when you have the chance. It's half brewery, half museum.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E06: Brewery Under Siege
New Ulm stood to fight another day and now that day has come.
Reinforcements had arrived from the countryside. A barricade was put up in the center of town. All of the women and children were hidden in a building full of explosives rigged to blow if the town fell.
The attack lead to an act of valor not seen since: Flandrau's Charge.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E07: Flandrau's Charge (New Ulm III)
I did an international Secret Santa gift exchange courtesy of the website Reddit and was paired with someone from Germany. They gave me a German snack food called Haribo Piratos, which is a German, salty black licorice. The flavor is revolting for someone like myself- the candy is mostly enjoyed by those in Central Europe, Scandinavia, or Finland.
In the video I cite that the snacks are 323 calories each which is completely wrong. They are 323 calories per 100g, which is a standard in Europe. In the US the serving size is at the discretion of the manufacturer.
Either way I messed that part up, but I figured a little more cultural immersion was in order--- by many of the comments and by this image you can certainly tell what I baby I was about it.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E08: -Intermission- Snack Time
In World War I and World War II the United States went to war against Germany. For the people of New Ulm this posed quite a challenge. The American public at large looked upon German-Americans with suspicion.
In World War I, many basic rights of Germans-Americans were taken away such as the right to privacy, protest, and the press.
In World War II, German Prisoners of War (POWs) were held at a camp on the fringe of the town of New Ulm.
Ex-Governor Henry H. Sibley was ordered by the current governor Alexander Ramsey and president Abraham Lincoln to end the Dakota War. The best men, horses, and supplies were all allocated south to help the war effort against the Confederacy in the Civil War. He didn't have much to work with so every move would have to be deliberate and calculated.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E10: Sibley On The Scene
I finally arrive at the Blue Mounds State Park in SW Minnesota to partake in my favorite hobby: Motocamping.
Because I'd spent all day touring New Ulm I didn't have much time to waste. I'd arrived late and all I had time to do was set up camp and make myself the Dakota dinner:
Minnesotan wild rice and ground buffalo!
Click Here: 2W1C S02E11: Live Like a Dakota Weekend
One of my favorite parts of camping is waking up.
If you went to bed with the sun, chances are you're waking up with it. You have the whole day ahead of you! Make coffee. Read. Hike. Go for a ride. Do whatever you want. You're in the great outdoors!
In this episode I get a good look at the Blue Mounds State Park in Southwestern Minnesota.
Go out and enjoy your state parks!!
Click Here: 2W1C S02E12: The Blue(ish) Mounds
A brief book review of Hunter S. Thompson's "Hell's Angels".
A real look into the motorcycle underworld through the eyes of an immersed investigative journalist.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E12.5: Hell's Angels Brief Book Review
What is Pipestone? How is it gathered? What is it used for? Where do they have to go to find it?
There are answers to these questions and more in this episode. Thousands of years of traditions are kept alive at Pipestone, where a special soft rock must be quarried only with hand tools.
There is also a religious significance to the stone that's tied in to the Dakota's religious origin story.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E13: The Holy Destination (Pipestone I)
Pipestone's geographical features are extremely unique to its surroundings. For many Dakota, this region would hold the only waterfall they'd ever see in their lifetime.
In this episode I look at the features of the holy site, many of which are named and even given religious or ceremonious significance.
Inside the monument's building are Dakota still practicing the ancient craft of pipe making.'
Coming back to the Dakota War, we find the military unit sent out by Col. Sibley from Ft. Ridgely had stopped for the night after their 2nd night scouting the hostile territory upstream.
They stopped next to the Birch Coulee for the night. It had trees for firewood and water for their horses but it was a horrible location in terms of defense.
While the Minnesotan soldiers slept, the Dakota surrounded their camp. The following firefight would be known as the Battle of Birch Coulee.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E16: The Battle of Birch Coulee
The Dakota War had brought itself to a bit of a stand still in the Minnesota River valley so Little Crow decided to attack Forest City and Hutchinson.
The Minnesotan militia forces did everything they could to stave off the Dakotan offensives.
Both sides of the conflict were beginning to see infighting. Minnesotans, afraid for their livelihoods, were very critical of Sibley's handling of the conflict. Many didn't take into consideration that the Civil War had taken the best men and supplies southward.
Little Crow was running into issues of his own. His fellow chieftains were pushing toward peace but Little Crow wouldn't have it.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E16: An Anxious State (of Affairs)
Col. Sibley, who now had battle-hardened Civil War troops among his ranks, knew that his first push into the Sioux Reservation should be his last.
Little Crow was waiting for Sibley in ambush. The resulting conflict would be the last battle of the Dakota War, the Battle of Wood Lake.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E17: The Battle of Wood Lake
The militant Dakota had been chased out of the state leading to an even darker chain of events. The Minnesotan government allocated resources to build an interim headquarters to conduct their Dakota-expulsion policies. It was known as Camp Release. Dakota men, women, and children of all ages were rounded up across the countryside and gathered at the camp. Where they all were headed was just as much of a topic of controversy then as it is now.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E18: Camp Release
This is the darkest chapter in Minnesota History. In Mankato, 38 Dakota were hanged in the largest mass execution in United States History. Just under Fort Snelling, over a thousand Dakota were held in a concentration camp where hundreds would die over the course of the winter- many more than were executed. Minnesota adopted a policy of scalping ransoms paying white citizens to kill and scalp natives.
This is the end of the 1862 Dakota War.
Click Here: 2W1CS02E19: En Masse
Little Crow was the Osama Bin Laden of Minnesota.
Hunted and hated, he ran into exile with his son while also taking hostages, one of which was the cousin of famous Minnesotan frontier writer Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I travelled around Minnesota on one of the chilly first spring days to go riding in 2017. I was looking for whatever monuments I could find dedicated to Little Crow. I found two of them in the city of Hutchinson, where Little Crow's story came to an end.
Click Here: 2W1C S02E20: Echos Today of Dark History's Past