Battle of Redwood Ferry

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The Battle of Redwood Ferry was a battle in the Dakota War of 1862.

Battle of Redwood Ferry
Part of The Dakota War of 1862
Date August 18, 1862
Location Birch Cooley Township,
Renville County, Minnesota

44°31′45″N 94°57′13″W / 44.52917°N 94.95361°W / 44.52917; -94.95361Coordinates: 44°31′45″N 94°57′13″W / 44.52917°N 94.95361°W / 44.52917; -94.95361
Result Santee Sioux Victory
Belligerents
Dakota (Santee Sioux) US Soldiers from Fort Ridgely
{Co B 5th Minnesota Infantry}
Commanders and leaders
Chief Little Crow Captain John S. Marsh†
Strength
325-350 46
Casualties and losses
1 confirmed 24 killed, 1 drowned, 5 wounded

Description[edit]

News reached Captain John S. Marsh at Fort Ridgely (then spelled "Ridgley") that the Lower Sioux Agency had been attacked on August 18, 1862.

Marsh went to the Lower Sioux Agency with 47 enlisted men and Interpreter Peter Quinn. The remaining inhabitants of the agency were Second Lieutenant Thomas P. Gere, Post Sutler Ben H. Randall, Ordnance Sergeant John Jones, two sergeants, three corporals, and about 32 privates. Marsh sent Private James C. McLean to Fort Ripley for reinforcements.

Company B was attacked at the Minnesota River at noon when they stopped for water. Marsh and his men fought until half the men had fallen then went to the Faribault cabin, at the bottom of "Faribault Hill". They later tried to swim the river, but the swift current pulled Marsh under. This made the Indians think that Marsh and the remaining 16 had gone across, so the Indians hid in a dam, ready to ambush.

The surviving members of Company "B" made their way back to Ridgely. Realizing it was getting dark, Bishop sent Privates James Dunn and William B. Hutchinson to Ridgely to tell the post commander what happened. They arrived at Ridgely at 10:00 P.M. The remaining men returned to the fort on August 20.

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