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Transcript of Robert Beussman interview.

"Did the white soldier treat the Natives fairly? Probably not. Did the warrior that was coming around the straw pile with his tomahawk that was going to beat my great-grandfather’s head in- did my grandfather deserve that threat? Probably not. So I think there’s- in all battles, in all conflicts there is right on both sides and there is wrong on both sides. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a conflict, it wouldn’t be a battle. Who is right and who is wrong? Did the one that was more right win? Did the one that was less wrong lose? I don’t think so- I don’t know. Right now I think the settlers and the United States Army that finally did get here and held out, had the upper hand. Had all of the Dakota banded together and all jumped in on the fray, this would be a whole different part of the world. The settlers would never have survived; we’d never have even been able to come back to this area. But all the Dakota didn’t get involved, which is good for those of us who are living here now, because I really don’t believe that this part of the country would be the same. So not everyone on the Native American side believed that the war was right, just like not all settlers believed that continuing the war was right after New Ulm was, so-called, saved. But New Ulm basically became a ghost town. Everybody moved and went back to St. Peter, or someplace, and then they just slowly trickled back into New Ulm and tried to restart.......Too bad that it happened. It’s way too bad that it happened. If people would have been more honest, if the so-called white people would have been more honest and would have kept their treaties, if the Native Americans had not been pushed into a corner, if the youth had not been fired up and encouraged- it could have been a whole, whole, whole different way of life, for them; for us."


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