"A Very Good and Substantial Fort" or "More like a Child’s Playhouse": The History and Archaeology of Civilian Fortifications during the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota
In August 1862 long-simmering tensions between the Dakota and Euro-American traders, settlers, soldiers, and government officials boiled over into open warfare. For nearly two months militant Dakota warriors, ostensibly under the leadership of renowned chief Little Crow, attacked Euro-American settlements and military installations. In response, settlers across southwest and central Minnesota either fled the region or attempted to fortify their settlements. These so-called "settlers’ forts" of the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 are today a largely unexplored part of Minnesota’s archaeological record. To date, no comprehensive archaeological survey has been undertaken to locate and document these frontier fortifications. These civilian fortifications, some constructed in a little as twenty-four hours, ranged from imposing fortresses to little more than makeshift barricades. The U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 was a seminal event in the history of Minnesota. Although relatively unknown outside of the state, the impacts of the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 are far-reaching and ongoing in many Minnesota communities, both Native American and Euro-American. This paper details historical and archaeological research on civilian fortifications at Fair Haven, St. Cloud, Sauk Centre, Paynesville, and Forrest City by graduate students and faculty at St. Cloud State University.
Cite this Record
"A Very Good and Substantial Fort" or "More like a Child’s Playhouse": The History and Archaeology of Civilian Fortifications during the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota. Rob Mann, Charles Peliska, Jacob Dupre. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443511)
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min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22341