Speech on the Eve of War

"We are only little herds of buffaloes left scattered; the great herds that once covered the prairies are no more. See! – the white men are like locusts when they fly so thick that the whole sky is a snowstorm. You may kill one – two – ten; yes, as many as the leaves in the forest yonder, and their brothers will not miss them. Kill one – two – ten, and ten times ten will come to kill you. Count your fingers all day long and white men with guns in their hands will come faster than you can count…. Yes; they fight amongst themselves, but if you strike at them they will all turn on you and devour you and your women and little children just as the locusts in their time fall on the trees and devour all the leaves in one day. You are fools. You cannot see the face of your chief; your eyes are full of smoke. You cannot hear his voice; your ears are full of roaring waters. Braves, you are little children – you are fools. You will die like the rabbits when the hungry wolves hunt them in the Hard Moon (January). Ta-o-ya-te-du-ta is not a coward; he will die with you."


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), 40-42.


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