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Wakandayamani (George Quinn)

Wakandayamani or The Spirit that Rattles As It Walks (George Quinn) was born in 1843 near Minnehaha Creek in present-day Hennepin County, Minnesota. He was visiting the Redwood (Lower Sioux) Agency when the war broke out. He participated in the fight at Redwood Ferry, the second Battle of Fort Ridgely, and the Battle of Wood Lake. He was tried by the military commission and sentenced to death, but received a reprieve and was imprisoned at Davenport, Iowa until he was pardoned in 1866. Newspaperman Return I. Holcombe interviewed him in 1898 with the assistance of interpreter William L. Quinn (who may have been Wakandayamani’s half-brother).

This page includes selections of the interview, so as you read them think about what they can tell us about the motivations Wakandayamani had to join the war in 1862. Also, look at the images of artifacts and think about what they can tell us about the experience of Wakandayamani and others like him during the war.


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Dakota men.


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A Sioux Encampment, on the Banks of the Minnesota River.


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Belgian double barrel shotgun


Memories of War U.S. Military Non-Combatants Dakota "Peace Party" Dakota Soldiers