Talk:Dakota War of 1862

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Origins[edit]

I live near where the "Sioux Uprising" took place. I have many times heard a story about how the war started over a few potatoes. The story goes (and I don't remember the important detail) but either natives or some soldiers were hungry and dug up some potatoes. An argument erupted over the right for the potatoe taking party to take the potatoes. Soon after that the violence began. Has anyone else heard this story? Andercee 06:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC) There was also 38 Indian hangings. That is the most hangings at a time in MN history.' Perhaps what you are referring to is the opening of the Battle of Wood Lake. A collection of soldiers from the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment, against orders, hitched up a wagon and proceeded towards the Yellow Medicine (Upper Sioux) Agency, near present-day Montevideo, Minnesota. This party, unknowingly, nearly trampled some of the Native Warriors hiding in the grass, which forced the commencment of Little Crow's intended ambush of Henry Sibley's forces at Lone Tree Lake prematurely. This occured in the morning of September 23rd, 1862, more than a month after the war had begun. VeritasCaput 23:55, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

Just curious if anyone thinks there is a better name for this article. I researched this a tiny bit a while back, and some Native American articles I saw on it had a lot of disdain for the name "Sioux Uprising", as it seems to be somewhat biased (particularly since some Dakota/Lakota still seem to consider the name "Sioux" to be an insult, even though others like the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux are comfortable with it, well because the people who live in that community are imposters anyway, living on stolen land from the real Mdewakantons ) Anyway, I'd been using the name U.S.-Dakota Conflict to refer to it in some earlier articles. I suppose U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 might be somewhat more common, though it's hard to say if these events work out to be a "war" or not.. User:Mulad (talk) 15:19, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

I think "Sioux Uprising" is still the most commonly used name for that conflict. I know some people have concerns about it and try to promote different names, but there doesn't seem to be one settled alternative yet. Some people dislike the name Sioux, but I have also heard people use it as a term of pride to describe themselves. Jonathunder 15:48, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)
I'd also note both references for this article use "Sioux Uprising". If we found Native American sources (and we should), they may not use that. I did create some more redirects I hope may be helpful. Jonathunder 16:08, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)
I added a link to an extensive annotated bibliography on the Minnesota Historical Society website, which I think will be a really good source of both primary and secondary references. It calls the event the "Dakota War of 1862" or "Dakota Conflict". Jonathunder 16:56, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

The event, at the time that it occured, and for the subsequent 110 years, was called the Sioux Uprising in all English-language sources yet extant. Works covering the topic since the 1970s have, in some but not all cases, used other terminology, though as noted above there is no agreement as to the exact form this other name should take. I consider this to be revisionism of the worst form, because regardless of the objections (some valid) to the name "Sioux Uprising," and the horror of the event itself, the historical record has already chosen for us. Schulz (see references on article) uses the term "Sioux Uprising" and he is hardly an apologist for the Federal government. I also note that opposition to the use of the word "Sioux" to describe the Dakota/Lakota people is not universal. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 21:23, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I have to agree - the Manual of style makes clear that we should use the most commonly used name for the article title to facilitate google searches, etc. I encountered a similar dilema on a page I have worked quite a bit on — Red River Rebellion — which is considered by many now not to have been a rebellion at all in the strictest sense of the term. Nevertheless, that is the name that has come down to us and is what the overwhelming majority of people probably use as a search key. Fawcett5 21:51, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, I think "revisionism of the worst form" is a bit harsh, hopefully reserved for periods when history is intentionally invented or destroyed. I'm definitely interested in seeing facts rather than propaganda. Anyway, I'm not going to be too picky about the title as long as there are appropriate redirects; I was just looking for some general opinions. User:Mulad (talk) 17:01, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
  • The historians at the Minnesota Historical Society (presumably in cooperation with other historians) use the term "Dakota War of 1862" to describe the conflict. There's not likely to be a label acceptable to everyone, but the purpose of a label is to provide a descriptive summary that's useful.

One one hand, the old label "Sioux Uprising" is familiar to us old folks who grew up with it. The question is whether that is an accurate and useful label. The word Sioux has been adopted by some American Indian groups, but fervently rejected by others. Dakota comes much closer to being a generally accepted name among my acquaintances. If what we're debating is who has the power to label the event, then perhaps there ought to be multiple articles, one from the main stream historians, one from the Dakota, and one from populist history buffs.

What used to be called an "uprising" was a label that laid blame on those who took action and absolved those who were attacked of any complicity. The settlers who were robbed and killed by the Dakota in 1862 may have been totally innocent victims, but the society to which they belonged was complicit in creating the situation in which the killings took place. I'd argue that "uprising" is an inappropriate label. I'm not sure "war" is appropriate either, but it was adopted by the historians who, I presume, have given a lot more thought to the issue than I have. "Conflict" is pretty vague and really doesn't describe a series of events that includes several military (and military-type) battles. Lacking a better term, I'd advocate following the example of the MHS and using "Dakota War of 1862" as a title. BartBee 15:36, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

  • As for the most common name for the series of events, while older sources use "Sioux Uprising" (see the dates of citied sources), any students who have used the Minnesota Historical Society textbooks in the past 20 years (which includes nearly all Minnesota students) will know the "Dakota War of 1862" and not the older label. -BartBee 21:32, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Check the list of sources again. There is a book published this spring which uses "Sioux Uprising" in the title. Jonathunder 00:12, 2005 May 9 (UTC)
  • As to the use of "Sioux" by Native groups, the Shakopee Mdewakanton use the word, but only sparingly (perhaps as part of marketing their casino to non-Indians).

Their web site URL is http://www.ccsmdc.org/, part of which ("smdc") I assume stands for the Shakopee Medweakanton Dakota Community. The main page title is "Welcome to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community."

The Mendota Mdewakanton web site is at http://www.mendotadakota.org/, and the title of the main page is "Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community." The word "Sioux" cannot be found on the site.

The Prairie Island community web site is at http://www.prairieisland.org/. The main page title is, "Prairie Island Indian Community." That page says, "..the people of Prairie Island welcome you. Our Mdewakanton Dakota community is..."

I got to know members of that community when I lived in Red Wing. "Sioux" is often used as a term of pride, particularly by younger members. Jonathunder 00:12, 2005 May 9 (UTC)
The men I knew on the Intertribal Council 25 years ago when I worked on archaeolgoy projects at Hamline University would roll their eyes at someone who naively used the term "Sioux." They were genuinely offended when someone who knew better used it. The French term was an insult. BartBee 02:34, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

The Upper Sioux Community has a web site at http://www.uppersiouxcommunity-nsn.gov. The title of the main page is "The Upper Sioux Community Pejuhutazizi Oyate." It uses the Dakota name (Pejuhutazizi Oyate) about as often as it uses "Sioux."

The Jackpot Junction web site, on the "Our Culture" page, http://www.jackpotjunction.com/culture/, says, "While Lower Sioux was the name given to our band and our home after treaties with the United States in 1851, members of the Lower Sioux Community are part of the Mdewakanton band of Dakota. Dakota is a word that means "friend." We traditionally called this area Cansa'yapi ("where they marked the trees red")."

The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council web site is at http://www.cri-bsu.org/IA_web/htdocs/tribes/index.html. It uses the term "Sioux" to identify the communities at the Upper and Lower Sioux Agencies: "The four Dakota Communities include: Shakopee Mdewakanton located south of the Twin Cities near Prior Lake; Prairie Island located near Red Wing; Lower Sioux located near Redwood Falls; and Upper Sioux whose lands are near the city of Granite Falls." -BartBee 23:39, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm not an expert in this area, by any means, but I do live in the region. The current name is traditional, but probably somewhat inaccurate and inappropriate. It's a lot like the term "indian" actually, which on Wikipedia is Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Dakota would be more accurate than Sioux, despite the noted fact that "Sioux" is in common usage, even by Native Americans. "Uprising" is rather leading and biased, though it doesn't really qualify as a "war" either. The term, conflict would be best in order to maintain NPOV. As it is, the title is clearly from a settler's perspective. --Jcbutler 19:54, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
"Sioux Uprising", capitalized as it is seems to be an official name given to the conflict by the non-native government and is used in many of the references cited. Perhaps the native population has given the series of events a name as well, and if so perhaps a combined title would be appropriate. But lacking alternative sources I don't think we should create a more PC name that has no documented basis. --Appraiser 20:43, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it's more a matter of accuracy than political correctness. BartBee suggested above that older sources use Sioux Uprising whereas the Minnesota Historical Society textbooks now say "Dakota War of 1862." Also, here is what a friend of mine with some knowledge of the topic had to say... "It used to be called the The Great Sioux Massacre of 1862, then it was the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. Later, it was just the Sioux Uprising of 1862. In the mid-20th century, the Minnesota Historical Society started to say The Dakota War of 1862. In the mid-1980s, the MHS said The Dakota Conflict of 1862. Some contemporary Dakota academics say The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862. The reason for this is that the Dakota did declare war and this declaration was made to both Sibley and Ramsey..." The term "Dakota conflict" is used at the following websites: [1], [2], [3]. However, these pages use "uprising": [4], [5]. At the Minnesota Public Radio link, the author suggests that the most popular current usage is "U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862." One commentatory facetiously says that it should be designated "The Great White Robbery of the Dakotas." To borrow contemporary terminology, I suppose we could also call it The Sioux Insurgency. ;) --Jcbutler 00:01, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


I have always been very much on the side of the Dakota, living near, and visiting Pike Island regularly. I have a book I bought at the MN History Center titled "Dakota War of 1962". I began in with one attitude, and finished with another. Clearly this was not an isolated incident, and was in a larger context of the U.S. Government forcing Indians out of their lands in many places, and uprooting the basis of their culture to change them in to farmers. The situation is complex, with a multitude of incidents as part of that war, and not any one thing. The beginning of the war was sparked by the murder of a family by two Indians, relative outcasts in their Indian communities. Because of the multitude of other factors, many of them circumstantial, many innocent people (on both sides) were trapped in a situation beyond their control. There is blame to spread for partial responsibility on both sides, and on many people. It is more complex than a simple reaction to the the Indians being forced off their lands, and promises broken. Many innocent people suffered greatly. In the end, the Dakota suffered the most with their culture completely shattered and broken. As for the pioneers, certainly many of them were innocent as well. But, in the scope of pioneers dying trying to pursue their dreams, the number is relatively small.

I am still doing research in my spare time on this topic, but it will be a long time until we can write a Wikipedia article that truly gives the topic full and fair coverage. In my mind, the Dakota War of 1862 is an appropriate title. It was much more than an incident, or an insurgency. Atom 13:48, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The book title certainly adds credence to a name change. Out of curiosity, I Googled (in quotes):
  • "Sioux Uprising of 1862" - 9620 hits
  • "Sioux Uprising" - 65,900 hits
  • "Dakota Conflict of 1862" - 698 hits
  • "Dakota Conflict" - 21,500 hits
  • "Dakota War of 1862" - 765 hits
  • "Dakota War" 36,300" hits
This [6] is interesting. I suspect that learned people at MHS and MPR would like to replace the 100-yr. old term, "Sioux Uprising" with a more accurate and balanced term for good reasons. Racism and unfathomable atrocities were perpetrated by people on both sides. One side had the real estate first. The other side won.
Based on the introductory paragraphs of war, my opinion is that it was indeed a war. I also believe that any group of people should be called by a name of their own choosing, thus Dakota is preferred over Sioux. A war has two sides. The date differentiates it from other conflicts.
My conclusion is that I like Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 --Appraiser 17:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Also consider that most of the settlers who were killed wereunarmed civilians, so these atrocities might be considered worthy of a name other than "war," just as the Rape of Nanking is not called the Battle of Nanking. Slaughter of civilians might merit the term "conflict" rather than "war," which is a better defined operation. Edison (talk) 20:40, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Death toll?[edit]

I don't have a dead-tree reference handy, but is there a good accounting of the overall death toll (preferably separated into the Native Americans, civilians, and US troops if any)? I only ask since the Native American massacres page currently says "As many as 800 settlers killed" which seems off by about an order of magnitude, unless I missed something pretty major... User:Mulad (talk) 17:01, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

The available figures are inexact, in part because the uprising had no clear and obvious beginning point, and in part because many who were wounded later died from their wounds. I've seen estimates of whites killed between 500 to 800. About 150 were killed in major battles:
  1. 40 killed in Spirit Lake, Iowa, May 6, 1857
  2. 5 killed in Litchfield, Minnesota, August 17, 1862
  3. 44 killed at the Redwood Agency, August 18, 1862
  4. 16 killed in New Ulm, Minnesota, August 19, 1862
  5. 34 killed in New Ulm, Minnesota, August 23, 1862
  6. 13 killed in the Battle of Birch Coulee, September 2, 1862
There were also some whites taken captive, who were later executed, particularly at Spirit Lake.
But the greatest number killed were isolated farm families and townspeople in the area surrounding New Ulm in the period from August 18-August 23. Some sources estimate that as many as 400 were killed, many of them women and children. It was this sort of banditry, moreso than the battles themselves, that incited such outrage among settlers; and the Sioux who were ultimately executed were those who the government believed were culpable for the murder of settlers outside the context of any of the battles.
[7]
The Uninvited Co., Inc. 20:37, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have, in front of me, a list compiled by a certain M.P. Satterlee, dated January 15th, 1919, listing the confirmed white victims of the Dakota War. It is titled "Authentic List of the Victims of the Indian Massacre and War 1862-1865." I acquired this from one of the people who works at the Ft. Ridgely Museum. It details the names of exactly 415 people who were confirmed killed by the Dakota during the conflict, according to geography and date. The earliest date was August 17th, 1862, and the latest June 29, 1865, although there are a handful who's deaths could not be exactly dated.VeritasCaput (talk) 06:24, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Marion P. Satterlee was a very careful and well regarded historian of the conflict, who spent many years visiting the sites, checking dociments, and corresponding with both Native American and white survivors. I have consulted his original documents at the Minnesota Historical Society, and later history writers used them as reliable sources. His list is not complete, because of settlers who were killed in the wilderness as they fled or hid. Edison (talk) 20:36, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

There are now three separate articles on this one conflict. Each has some content the others do not. This one has an edit history going back to August 31, 2004. There is also Minnesota Sioux War 1862 (first edit February 18, 2005) and Dakota War of 1862 which I created as a redirect on April 26, 2005 but which for the past few days has been turned into a fork, basically, of this article. We need to fix this. Jonathunder 02:43, 2005 May 11 (UTC)

I have now merged the articles, though someone who has studied this more heavily will probably have to do some fact/timeline checking. If someone still really wants to move the article to a different name, at the moment I would recommend U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. The good things: the name shows both parties involved, plus the date. It calls it a war, and I think that the number of casualties and the fact that multiple named battles comprise it support that idea. The U.S. never declared war, though arguably the Dakota did (also see these comments at MPR about naming). That page also doesn't have an edit history yet ;-) The bad thing: it's not the most common name (though it isn't vague, which is good, IMHO). —Mulad (talk) 05:48, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Concentration Camp or Fort Snelling stockade?[edit]

In the "Aftermath" section the term "concentration camp" is used to describe the confinement of some of the Dakota people after the war, in the winter of 1862-63. I find this not to represent the "neutral point of view" which Wiki articles are supposed to follow. The Wiki article on the term 'concentration camp' says it was not coined until the 1902 Boer War, so no one at the time could have used it to describe the 1700 men, women and children being confined in the stockade at Fort Snelling. Schultz (Duane Schultz, author of "Over the Earth I Came-The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862, St. Martins Press, 1992) says they went there willingly for food and shelter, as well as protection from the whites who had survived the massacres. And if they had used the term 'concentration camp', it would not have had the connotations of Dachau and Auschwitz which it acquired in the 1940's. The facts, presented objectively, are a grim enough indictment of their treatment, without using a term which calls up anachronistic images of Nazi guards, or of British guarding Boers in Africa. I propose that the article say that approximately 1700 Dakotas who had not been convicted of crimes were confined in the Fort Snelling stockade for several months in the winter of 1862-63, and that 300 of them perished of measles and other diseases, before they were shipped west to a reservation where another 300 died over the summer, mostly from lack of food (Schultz, pp 276-284). I recommend anyone who really wants to dig into this visit the New Ulm Historical Society, as well as the Minnesota Historical Society, which has the writings of Marion Satterlee. He wrote to many of the white and Dakota survivors years after the events, and collected their reminiscences. He also documented where many of the battles and attacks occurred, right down to the quartersection. Edison 04:05, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Internment page uses this definition for concentration camp:

The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. defines concentration camp as: a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the South African war of 1899-1902; one for the internment of political prisoners, foreign nationals, etc., esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939-45. The Random House Dictionary defines the term as: "a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc.", and, the American Heritage Dictionary defines it thus: "A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions." Finally, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: "a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined."

With that said, it seems the term "concentration camp" fits in this place, especially since it appears that the term is used to refer to events that happened in the late 19th century.
I'd be interested to learn more about Duane Schultz. His account of the Dakota people seeking shelter at Fort Snelling is vastly different than other versions I've read.Sockamina (talk) 21:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

A Comment on Revisionism and Titles[edit]

As for "The images of innocent individuals and families of struggling pioneer farmers being killed by marauding bands of Dakota, often in horrific and inhumane ways, have remained in the consciousness of the prairie communities of south central Minnesota."

I grew up 40-50 years ago very near the Lower Agency. I was one of those unusual kids who was interested in the history. Most of my cohort knew little or nothing about the war. And I never encountered a "consciousness of the prairie communites" focused on killings of white people by natives. Even farmers who owned land where there were little historic markers (like the one celebrating the killing of Little Crow outside of Redwood Falls) were often unaware of the specifics of what had gone on a century earlier. The most common "consciousness" I recognized in those prairie communites revolved around racist and degrading stereotypes that white people had of the native people around the Lower Agency, but I wouldn't attribute those attitudes to whole communities.

I would have to see some explicit and factual evidence to convince me that any but a few extraordinary people clung to horrific images of murder and mayhem even 50 years ago. And I'd have to wonder about their motives. BartBee

References and Citations[edit]

The citations in this article really need to be cleaned up. Although several good source books and web sites are listed, the statements attributable to each are not cited. And some on-line citation links that do exist, link to an ISD77 web site that is not sourced, and likely not peer-reviewed, as a legitimate source should be. This article needs major work. Appraiser 17:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

The page was moved in the past, and after much discussion, the name Sioux Uprising was kept, as that is by far still the most common name. If proposing a move, please list here and on Requested Moves, but please don't move first. Jonathunder 21:36, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Jonathunder, could you please contribute above under page name your reasons for wanting to keep it Sioux Uprising? Good reasons to change it have been offered. I waited a week after the previous discussion and no one objected. Thanks. --Appraiser 22:10, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


I am in favor of the move. My impression was that there were lots of us lurking who thought that makes perfect sense. As the Dakota prefer to call themselves Dakota, and not Sioux, and as the MN HIstorical society calls it the Dakota War of 1862, it makes perfect sense. Atom 00:17, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that either Dakota War of 1862 or U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 would be the best, if still contentious title. --Jcbutler 00:25, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I'm not sure it's possible to "respectfully" label another point of view as silly and sophomoric, but I agree that we shouldn't rush into a name change, especially when we don't have the details quite worked out yet. Let's discuss it here, and most importantly, let's look at all the arguments and evidence for each side. Some variation of Dakota conflict or Dakota war seems to be most frequently used by academics and historical societies. I'm not sure there are any compelling reasons to keep Sioux Uprising, other than the rather weak point that the name has been around for a long time. --Jcbutler 06:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Well, if you read this page you'll see that the discussion has been going on here for nearly a year. This [8] was written over four years ago. The book, Dakota War of 1862 was published in 2001. The book, Dakota Indian War-Claims of 1862 was published in 1874. The topic has been around a while. The power of Wikipedia is that through discussion, debate, and research by several people, the result is better than what any individual could produce. I mistook silence as concensus, and I apologize. As for the word war, I suppose the current conflict in Iraq isn't a war either, since the Iraqis didn't declare war on the U.S. until after the U.S. started bombing. --Appraiser 12:47, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I think there are many names that it could be called, and has been called. Historians seem to have settled on "war". It does not have to be sought by both sides to be called a war, it just has to be one. The government did, in fact commit atrocious acts on innocent people, just as did the Dakota. The nature of atrocities has nothing to do with whether it was a war or not though. Atom 13:36, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

As Univited expressed it well, there are many different things it could be called, but only one thing it is universally known as: one name that is overwhelmingly more common. (Do a google search.) Wikipedia policy is to use the common name for the thing. This is not always what other encyclopedias do, but it is clear here what the name should remain. Jonathunder 14:31, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I find it difficult to believe that anyone who knows as much about this war as you do would use the word "unprovoked" to describe the actions of the Dakota people. The provocations were numerous and took place over an extended time period. People suffered and died because of the actions of government officials, merchants, and settlers. If the native people had had a Jefferson, they might have written a declaration about those provocations.

And while you might see the "attacks" as "indiscriminate," that term insists that everyone see the situation as you do. If the provocations seen by native people all came from non-native people, and their image of hierarchies and differentiated societies is based on their own experiences, then attacks on non-native people were not indiscriminate, they were attacks on the causes of the problems. BartBee

Sadly, "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" are highly relevant concepts to this discussion, though I would argue that these things were generally the result of actions by the U.S. government, not the behavior of the Dakota. Using words like "unprovoked attacks", not to mention bending the definition of war to exclude this event, demonstrates the considerable mental and verbal gymnastics being used to defend a position that is appearing less and less defensible. Terminology like "sneak" and "slaughter" also adds a heavy dose of emotion to what should be as objective and unbiased an analysis as possible. I'll say again that US Dakota Conflict, or Dakota US War, or something of that nature, would be the most NPOV, and therefore a the most appropriate title for this entry. --Jcbutler 16:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Sioux UprisingDakota War of 1862 — The majority of previous discussions on this talkpage mention the inappropriate naming of the title concerning the Dakota, and how academia tends to refer to this time period with a more specific and neutral name. "Dakota War of 1862" is based off of the name as written by the Minnesota Historical Society [9] oncamera(t) 06:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move[edit]

  1. Strongly Support Sioux is considered to be a derogatory name encompassing Dakota as well as other groups of Natives. Dakota is a more accurate name for the people involved. The conflict fits the definition of war as explained in the war article.--Appraiser 17:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support I too support the move. As for the popularity of the name "Sioux Uprising," we should all know that the textbook every Minnesota grade schooler has used for the past 20+ years to study Minnesota history refers to the U.S. - Dakota War. Most people under the age of 30 would identify the conflict by that name. BartBee

Survey - in opposition to the move[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments:
  • As already mentioned in previous discussions, in 1863, this was first written as "Dakota War in 1862," as included in report no. 156 in the Report of the [U.S.] Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and now the Minnesota Historical Society[10] refers to as the same. Referring to the Dakota as "Sioux" is not NPOV to members of its community as discussed in Talk:Sioux_Uprising#Page_name. Also, Dakota Conflict or Dakota Conflict of 1862 is often used. oncamera(t) 06:22, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

This article has been renamed from Sioux Uprising to Dakota War of 1862 as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 07:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Deadlinks restored[edit]

JonHarder deleted links to the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council website describing the Upper Sioux and Lower Sioux because the links had gone dead. I feel that the source was a reliable one, and the information was relevant to the article, so I added back links the the Wayback machine web archive for the most recent versions of those pages from 2006. This is a good technique to use when a link goes dead, and is usually better for the project than just deleting a source of information. Edison 18:54, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Before getting to the recent changes, this edit use the word:

  • "friendlies" — does any scholar use this term? I would be surprise. It isn't a term I expect to find in a good Wikipedia article.

and this edit uses the word:

  • "firefight" — does any scholar use this term? It sounds like an anachronism to my ears.

I have some concerns about recent edits. Perhaps the place to start is clarification of some of the insertions:

  • "non-combatant" — what author or sources uses this adjective to describe residents of Spirit Lake, Iowa?
  • "modern revisionsists" — what author or sources uses this phrase in conjunction with the prison description?
  • "diabolical savagery" — what author or sources uses this phrase to describe the crimes of the Dakota?
  • "modern commentators generally omit such viscerally compelling personal recollections of gruesome injury and death suffered by white victims while emphasizing the complicity of the pioneer farmers" — what author or source says this or the equivalent?
  • "it is hard for modern readers to comprehend the seeming equanimity with which otherwise god-fearing, mild mannered rural folk …" — what author or source says this or the equivalent?

JonHarder talk 00:52, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree that many recent edits are riddled with POV, but I haven't taken the time needed to clean it up, not wanting to completely revert a large number of changes indiscriminately; I do watch it regularly though, and would certainly be supportive of large-scale changes toward NPOV accounting. I don't have any problem with the word "firefight"; I believe "friendlies" is accurate, although not a very scholarly word - a synonym would be better. The other words you mentioned not-too-subtly inject a POV into the article and should be rewritten. --Appraiser 12:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Not Largest Mass Execution[edit]

This was not the largest mass execution in U.S. history, it was the largest in a single day. The largest mass execution was actually carried out by Confederate Texas, which executed 42 suspected union sympathizers over a several day period (hanged 40 and shot two who tried to escape). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gainesville%2C_Texas#Things_of_note Chegitz guevara 16:35, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I do not see the basis for grouping together executions over some arbitrary period of time to accumulate them to "the largest mass execution." If "several days" can be grouped, then why not several months or several years? How about the executions by the state of Texas over some period of time in recent history? That would far exceed the total attributed to the Confederates. "Mass execution" implies one place, one time. -- Edison (talk) 17:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The information was deleted from the article today citing this talk page discussion. As I can see anything but consensus for removal here, and no discussion from the editor actually deleting, on that basis I am going to put it back. Neither the Gainsville article nor its references claim this event as the largest mass hanging. According to the refs, 19 of these were hanged on a different day after a retrial to head off an attempted lynching. As Edison says, that makes it a different event. SpinningSpark 20:22, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

New page[edit]

I copied this page into my sandbox and have been editing it for a while now. I used pretty much all the information already in the page and tried to clean it up by wikilinking and heavily editing and reorganizing to make it flow better and comply with summary style. I don't have any of the sources used to get the information that was already in the page, but I'll try to track down some to substantiate the claims made in the page. The page still needs someone to go through and edit/clean up the sources, citations, and references (I'm slowly working on that but there's only so much I could do after staring at it for days). poroubalous (talk) 20:27, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

7-23-08 Neutrality Dispute[edit]

First of all, this article, in my opinion, is biased towards the Dakota. If someone disagrees, and can convince me that it is neutral, I will remove my POV dispute. Second, it is also, in my opinion, badly organized. Lastly, there is much information missing. I attempted to edit this article to try and improve the oragnization and fill in some of the blanks, but it was quickly undone. I feel that this article needs cooperative work. I re-wrote the article on The Battle of Fort Ridgely, and recieved no negative feedback(or feedback in general). I'm new to Wikipedia, but reasonably informed on the Dakota War of 1862.History+Politics=Misinformation (talk) 19:09, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

My read of the article is that it tries too hard to be politically correct, and makes the Dakota Sioux sounds as if they are the bad guys, rather than the victims. I realize that at this time period throughout the west, midwest, and even in the east Indians were thrown off their land for the least excuse and forced into concentration camps and reservations far from their own lands. That is to say it was not unique to the Dakota Sioux. But -- these things were nevertheless true.

One must remember that the key to a Neutral POV article is not that the language is neutral, or this expresses only one POV, it is the opposite. A NPOV article expresses multiple perspectives as accurately as possible with citations. I tries to give fair weight to the perspectives according to their representation. This article does not do this perfectly, but it does work hard to express both views well.

Atom (talk) 19:11, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

H+P=M -- Assuming you made your edits as IP 64.72.183.187, you gave no real explanation for the large amount of material added and subtracted and, in the process, you eliminated at least 5 footnotes. These edits were reversed by another editor with no explanation so I assume that editor (User:Metagraph) treated your edit as vandalism.
I have no opinion on the value of your edits, but I suggest you rework your edits, add appropriate footnotes, and explain in detail the changes you are making, especially your decision to remove footnotes already included in the article. You might also decide to contact Metagraph and ask for an explanation for his revert.
Whether or not you follow this suggestion, you need to provide specific information on why you consider this article to reflect a specific POV -- people can't address your concerns unless you show exactly what it is that you object to. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 20:05, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for the advice. I will remove the neutrality dispute. As I said, I'm new to editing Wikipedia. I decided to do a complete overhaul, which was my mistake.

What I object to is the fact that the article scarcely mentions the killing of at least 450 settlers (this is a CONFIRMED number given after extensive reserch by Alan R. Woolworth of the Minnesota Historical Society. It is almost common knowledge that many more were killed, but it is impossible at this point to prove it) in comparison to the almost fervent attention given to the Dakota interned at Pike Island and especially Camp Lincoln/Mankato. The fact that the article includes an entire subsection on "Grave Robbing"(which, I might reiterate, was common at the time, regardless of the body's race), is quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Hundreds of bodies were left on the prarie and were never given proper burials; they were instead eaten by animals, plowed up by farmers decades later, or simply never found. I see no mention of this fact. I ask that we discuss how Section 3 is organized and try to combine or get rid of some or all of the subsections that detail what happened to the Dakota after Camp Release, as the present information is in no real chronological order. I will rename the subsection "Dakota Victories" to something along the lines of "Initial Battles," or something like that, because both of the attacks carried out on New Ulm and Fort Ridgely were failures. I will also be correcting information that is false, such as; there was no "battle" at the Lower Sioux Agency, it was an intended massacre(battle entails that one organized, armed party attacked another organized, armed party); the fact that there is no evidence that members of the 5th Minnesota fought in New Ulm; that Fort Ridgely was attacked first on August 20th, not 21st; the vague description of Sibley's expedition from Carver to Camp Release; Birch Coulee was not the result of "counterattacks," and was not a "major defeat"(the burial party was not massacred to the last man, and it held the field at the end of the fighting); the 4th Minnesota was not present in Minnesota at any time during the war, and other facts with appropriate references. I will be clarifying the section on "Army reinforcements." I will also be adding a section on confirmed attacks carried out by the Dakota on civilians north and south of the MN River Valley, all with appropriate references.

I plan to make the above changes, but will not do so without feedback first. I apologize for being hasty with the POV dispute. History+Politics=Misinformation (talk) 20:55, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

If I may make a suggestion - change one paragraph at a time, allowing time between edits for watchers to evaluate your changes and check your references. This article has a long history of changes made by highly opinionated editors of many stripes, which causes all of us to be skeptical of changes, especially if made 1) in large scale, 2) by IP-address editors, 3) lacking an "Edit summary", and 4) lacking citations in the proper format. Serious scholarship will be respected, but haphazard changes to an article on a volatile topic will be reverted ruthlessly.--Appraiser (talk) 21:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, the death tolls seem rather incomplete to me. Does the figure 40-70 Dakota entail just soldiers who died in combat, or does it include non-combatants, or casualties via disease? Also, should the figure include the 39 hanged Dakota, or would it be omitted by virtue of their non-war war crimes? And I don't know the precedents, but there's the subsequent deaths in the 'concentration camps', or 'death marches' to potentially consider (POV due to lack of attributable NPOV terms) The article definitely needs work, but with as much dispute, it's definitely gotta be tough to be reliable AND NPOV. We need some serious editors on this... 216.114.242.26 (talk) 21:17, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

OK, well in this edit the casualty figures have dramatically increased, but no-one has explained exactly why, and what it's based on. It would be nice to know. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 11:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Comparison to 9/11[edit]

I deleted the comparison to 9/11 because some people felt that comparing what the Dakota did to what Al-Queda did wasn't an apt comparison. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.255.147.54 (talk) 15:57, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Article title should be moved back to Dakota War of 1862[edit]

The article was moved on August 15, 2011, from the consensus title Dakota War of 1862 to Dakota War (1862–1865) without any discussion being held here, by User:$1LENCE D00600D. Given that the title of this article has been the subject of considerable discussion here, it seems appropriate to seek consensus rather than my just moving it back to the title which seems to me more appropriate. Yes, there was some fighting on into 1865. There is little evidence that writers of the time continued it to be part of an ongoing war which started in 1862. They thought the war in question ended in 1862, even if some fighters ran away to fight again rather than surrendering with the majority. In fact, fighting between the US Army and the Native American tribes in question continued to 1890, but I hope no one will argue for Dakota War (1862–1890) Wikipedia articles are supposed to use the most common name. The Minnesota Historical Society, and most of the references in the article, just use 1862, and not 1862-1865. It started August 17, 1862. The battles of Fort Ridgely, of New Ulm, and of Birch Coulee happened thereafter, along with the massacre of several hundred US civilians by the Dakota. The bulk of the Native Americans involved surrendered their captives to Federal and state troops at Camp Release on S All in 1862. Isolated battles (some in other states) in 1865 (or in 1890) do not justify changing the name of the article to one not widely used to describe it by reliable sources. See among the refs cited in the article:"The Dakota War of 1862" by the Minnesota Historical Society, "Over the Earth I Come: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862" by Schultz, "Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862" by Minnesota Historical Society, "The Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, 1862: Jacob Nix's Eyewitness History" by Nix, "German Pioneer Accounts of the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862" by Tolzmann. External links, use "1862" rather than "1862-1865." Using the "1862-1865" description or title, there is "Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865", Minnesota Historical Society, which is clearly not limited to this war, and "The Dakota War: The United States Army Versus the Sioux, 1862-1865" by Clodfelter. Yes, there were some battles through 1865, but this particular war ended in 1862. I am looking for a consensus to move it back and undo the changes in several sections of the article made in recent days to justify the new name. Edison (talk) 22:50, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Question: Is there any reason why it couldn't be called simply "Dakota War"? Is there another Dakota War that requires this article to have a date to disambiguate between them? Generally, the simpler the article name is, the better. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:02, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there were "Dakota wars" before and after this one. This war, in Minnesota in 1862, is notable enough for a stand-alone article, since many books have been written about it. Edison (talk) 03:54, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:27, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Strongly agree the title should be reverted to Dakota War of 1862--which is the common reference. Dakota War (1862-1865) is both uncommon to the point of rarity and misleading.Elcajonfarms (talk) 17:48, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • As posted above under #Page move, "If proposing a move, please list here and on Requested Moves, but please don't move first". Now that was 4 years ago, but given it was discussed in depth for a period of years before reaching consensus to rename from Sioux UprisingDakota War of 1862, it seems precipitous to suddenly rename it now to Dakota War (1862–1865) without discussion. I tend to agree with Edison's assessment — after the Battle of Wood Lake and subsequent surrender at Camp Release the Sioux Uprising ended even though conflict continued into 1890. It may be that the previous renaming from Sioux Uprising to Dakota War of 1862 is actually causing some confusion — that this article is about something other (or more) than just the Sioux Uprising. In any case, the recent change to Dakota War (1862–1865) would only seem to exacerbate that. My !vote would be to move it back to Dakota War of 1862 — at least until it can be discussed further. Mojoworker (talk) 18:42, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, I just saw this from the recent Tree shaping arbitration decision: "10) Article titles are based on the name by which reliable English-language sources refer to the article's subject. In determining which of several alternative names is most frequently used, it is useful to observe the usage of major international organizations, major English-language media outlets, quality encyclopedias, geographic name servers, major scientific bodies and scientific journals. When there is no single obvious term that is obviously the most frequently used for the topic, as used by a significant majority of reliable English language sources, editors should reach a consensus as to which title is best by considering recognisability, naturalness, precision, conciseness and consistency." Mojoworker (talk) 18:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The topic of the article has always been what was called for a century the "Sioux uprising of 1862," and which dealt primarily with August-December 1862 in Minnesota. The later battles (1863-1864) might in fact be included as aftermath to the 1862 war, as part of smoldering insurrection and conflict, or as part of a harrassment campaign by the US, without requiring a name change to encompass their date. We also have the article Sioux Wars, which somehow did not receive the politically correct renaming, which includes 8 wars. Oddly, it only mentions battles through 1864, and none in 1865 as related to this particular "Dakota War." When was it the War of 1812 ended? Ah yes, 1815. But we do not change it to the War of 1812-1815. That would be original research and contrary to "the name by which reliable English-language sources refer to the article's subject." The same principle applies here. Edison (talk) 20:21, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Edison, how long does this need to stay open? Looks like there's consensus to move it back to Dakota War of 1862. Mojoworker (talk) 17:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
It should be closed. The consensus favors the old title "Dakota War of 1862". All related infobox names, links etc should also be changed. Anyone feel up to it technically/have the time to do it? Edison (talk) 20:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
HJ Mitchell‎ did the move, so I'll get started on the rest of it. Mojoworker (talk) 20:30, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Done. I think everything's changed back. Mojoworker (talk) 04:02, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Items removed from "External links" section[edit]

Per this guideline, the External links section is not the place to put links to individual newspaper articles and other possible (but not yet used) sources to improve the article. So I've removed the following, which I post here for those inclined to use these for inline citations (and thus to have these sources appear as footnotes/references):

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:31, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

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