north of town.
First encounter in North Dakota between the US Army and the Lakota Sioux.
Wall. M60 tank. Located in Dawson.
Recreational Lake 2 miles south of Dawson.
Wildlife Refuge 2 1/2 miles south of Dawson.
Management Area 6 miles south of Dawson.
45 minutes from
Bismarck, North Dakota on I-94.
year was 1863 and we were in the third year of our Civil War. In the
afternoon of the 1862 Dakota Conflict, also known as the Minnesota Massacre,
there was an outcry for justice.
of the 1863 the first governor of Minnesota, Henry Hastings Sibley,
assembled an army of 4,075 men. Their mission was to chase and engage
the renegades, led by Inkpaduta, in battle and rendezvous with General
Sully, who was coming up the Missouri River to cut off the Indians escape.
They started their expedition on June 16th and after a 39 day march found a
large village of 2,500 + Indians. This village was located ten miles
North of Tappen, North Dakota.
is important to state that although there were a few renegades in this
village the majority of the inhabitants had no involvement in what had
happened in Minnesota. They were hunting buffalo for the winter food
cache. Gall and Sitting Bull were with this hunting party of Sioux.
It was their first encounter with the U.S. Army.
July 24th, after an attempt to talk with the Indians, Dr. J.S. Weiser was
shot and killed, possibly by a member of Inkpaduta's band. The
Battle of Big Mound had started. Having the advantage of superior arms
the soldiers prevailed. Two days later, July 26th, the Battle of Dead
Buffalo Lake was fought. This battle field is located one mile north
of Dawson, North Dakota. the outcome was the same.
Noted historian Robert M. Utley wrote, "The operations of Sibley and Sully
marked the onset of warfare between the United States and the Lakotas, which
would last nearly continuously until Sitting Bull's final surrender in
It is interesting to note that Inkpaduta, Gall and Sitting Bull were
instrumental in Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn thirteen years later.