Monday, July 3, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: July 3

July 3, 1839The Sioux and Chippewa meet in battle in a ravine just north of Stillwater. The conflict begins on July 2, when a son-in-law of the Sioux band, named Meekaw, is killed and scalped by two Chippewa of the Pillager band near Lake Calhoun. This act begins to stir unpleasant sentiments among the Sioux and war parties are immediately sent out in pursuit. On [this date], the Kaposia band of Sioux finds the St. Croix Chippewa in a ravine just north of today’s Stillwater. They attack. By the end of the battle twenty-one Chippewa lay dead with another twenty-nine wounded. However, the Sioux suffer no casualties. The location of this skirmish becomes known as ‘Battle Hollow,’ and later becomes the site of the Minnesota Territorial Prison.”1

A plaque commemorating the battle is in the parking lot of  the Terra Springs condominiums in Stillwater, which is on the site of the battle today.2



Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 3, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.


Indian Battle Ground
In this ravine at daybreak July 3, 1839, a body of Chippewa returning from Fort Snelling where a Sioux had been killed by other Chippewa. A bloody battle took place in which the Chippewa losses were about 50 killed and wounded. The Sioux losses were small.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
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