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Dakota Recruitment


Dakota Territory was wilder than ever on this date in 1863 when acting governor John Hutchinson issued a recruitment order in response to the U.S.-Dakota War.

Hutchinson sought to recruit men to Company C of the Dakota Cavalry for protection of settlers. Over 600 white civilians and soldiers had been killed in the uprising in Minnesota the previous year (Dakota death counts are uncertain). At the time, Company A was the only unit of troops in the territory outside of Fort Randall, assigned to patrol the frontier from the Big Sioux River to Chouteau Creek.

The “extreme urgency” for government troops on the Dakota frontier was hard to meet. Hutchinson was unable to bring in outside troops owing to the ongoing Civil War. Territorial officials feared Dakota’s farming population would leave as the Sioux involved in the Minnesota actions moved into Dakota. Hutchinson’s predecessor had called for volunteers the previous fall, but he accepted none of the militias formed in the “slow and discouraging” recruitment process.

Recruiting the number of soldiers officials called for appeared impossible. Company B of the Dakota Cavalry had been thrown together at Sioux City, Iowa in December 1862, and that same month, the previous governor had created a consolidated Company C, but a need remained, and Hutchinson’s new recruitment order proved ineffective. Generals Alfred Sully and Henry Hastings Sibley eventually led their punitive expeditions with cavalries from Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Companies A and B of the Dakota Cavalry did play a small role, however. In 1864 they traveled as a bodyguard for Sully for a rendezvous near present-day Pierre, South Dakota, prior to the Battle of Tahkahokuty Mountain, also known as the Battle of Killdeer Mountain, the largest armed conflict between the U.S. Army and Plains Indians.

Dakota Datebook written by Jack Dura


"http://history.nd.gov/lincoln/lincolnZoom/Recruitment-order.html" http://history.nd.gov/lincoln/lincolnZoom/Recruitment-order.html

"http://history.nd.gov/lincoln/image4.html" http://history.nd.gov/lincoln/image4.html

Kingsbury, G.W. (1915). History of Dakota Territory. Chicago, IL: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.

Retrieved from:

"https://books.google.com/books?id=Ui9EAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA249&dq=%22slow+and+discouraging%22+Dakota&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQwP2lkrfKAhWpxIMKHTAIDZEQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22company%20C%22&f=false" https://books.google.com/books?id=Ui9EAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA249&dq=%22slow+and+discouraging%22+Dakota&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQwP2lkrfKAhWpxIMKHTAIDZEQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22company%20C%22&f=false

"http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/battle-over-for-killdeer-mountain/article_5c61119a-e6b1-11e3-a811-001a4bcf887a.html" http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/battle-over-for-killdeer-mountain/article_5c61119a-e6b1-11e3-a811-001a4bcf887a.html

"http://history.nd.gov/pdf/Sully%201864%20by%20Pfaller1.pdf" http://history.nd.gov/pdf/Sully%201864%20by%20Pfaller1.pdf

Lounsberry, C.A. (1919). Early history of North Dakota: Essential outlines of American history. Washington, D.C.: Liberty Press. Retrieved from:

"https://books.google.com/books?id=_g4wAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=dakota+cavalry+guard+fort+sully+1864&source=bl&ots=RcJMx9l2BT&sig=cf9LORmLhZZBl79vHYGbuDiwXmc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4u9GInbfKAhXGkYMKHT5mAt8Q6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=dakota%20cavalry%20guard%20fort%20sully%201864&f=false" https://books.google.com/books?id=_g4wAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=dakota+cavalry+guard+fort+sully+1864&source=bl&ots=RcJMx9l2BT&sig=cf9LORmLhZZBl79vHYGbuDiwXmc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4u9GInbfKAhXGkYMKHT5mAt8Q6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=dakota%20cavalry%20guard%20fort%20sully%201864&f=false