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Motivation for Going to War

"It began to be whispered about that now would be a good time to go to war with the whites and get back the lands. It was believed that the men who had enlisted [to fight in the Civil War] last had all left the state, and that before help could be sent the Indians could clean out the country, and that the Winnebagoes [Ho-Chunk], and even the Chippewas [Ojibwe], would assist the Sioux. It was also thought that a war with the whites would cause the Sioux to forget the troubles among themselves and enable many of them to pay off some old scores. Though I took part in the war, I was against it. I knew there was no good cause for it, and I had been to Washington and knew the power of the whites and that they would finally conquer us. We might succeed for a time, but we would be overpowered and defeated at last. I said all this and many more things to my people, but many of my own bands were against me, and some of the other chiefs put words in their mouths to say to me."


Source:
Anderson, Gary Clayton and Alan R. Woolworth, eds. Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press (1988), 26.


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