Henry Hastings Sibley

When the war broke out Henry Hastings Sibley was appointed commander of the state’s military response. Sibley was possibly chosen because of his long relationship with the Dakota people through the fur trade and his role in treaty negotiations. After several weeks of marching and several battles, many Dakota surrendered to Sibley at Camp Release. Sibley established a military commission to try Dakota men suspected of killing or assaulting civilians. As you read the excerpts from Sibley’s letters, think about how he approached his assignment and his perspective on the war and those involved in it.


Henry H. Sibley


Identification of Indian murderers in Minnesota by a boy survivor of the massacre


Execution of Dakota Indians, Mankato, Minnesota


Henry Sibley on Horseback

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