Archaeological study sheds light on Battle of Wood Lake in western Minnesota

Using trendy know-how has allowed a group of archaeologists to recuperate almost two-dozen conical bullets and musket balls fired by the combatants on the location on Sept. 23, 1862. They’ve additionally recognized the places of U.S. troopers and Dakota warriors through the battle alongside a steep ravine and former army street in what’s now Yellow Drugs County in western Minnesota.

The examination debunked an extended-held perception of the place the ultimate battle occurred.

And, it has made it potential to virtually comply with the footprints of troopers from the third Regiment of their retreat from the primary preventing of that day. A number of the artifacts may very well mark the place people have been injured or killed.

Archaeologists Sigrid Arnott and David Maki, wIth help from Douglas Scott, recognized for his examination of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, analyzed proof they gathered in 2015 on the website utilizing trendy know-how, together with the written and oral accounts which have formed the narrative of this occasion.

They have been capable of develop “a very correct map of the place the whole lot was,” Arnott advised members of the Wooden Lake Battlefield Preservation Affiliation through the group’s annual assembly Saturday, Sept. 23, the anniversary of the Battle of Wooden Lake.

The affiliation’s work has made it potential to guard a 33-acre website the place a lot of the preventing occurred. The American Battlefield Safety Program, a part of the Nationwide Park Service, funded the work.

Arnott stated they have been additionally capable of piece collectively the battlefield historical past by taking a look at artifacts taken from the location through the years by personal collectors.

On the day of the battle, Lt. Col. Henry Sibley and almost 1,seven hundred troopers have been sluggish to interrupt camp. An estimated seven hundred or extra Dakota warriors have been hid alongside the ravine and roadway the troopers have been to comply with. Led by Little Crow and different chiefs, the Dakota deliberate to ambush the troopers once they have been strung out over a mile or extra.

The ambush was foiled when some troopers from the third Regiment ventured out on the prairie after dawn with a wagon to grub for potatoes in gardens situated close by. The hidden warriors opened hearth.

The lengthy-held narrative of the battle usually credited the troopers with the third Regiment for heroics in ultimately turning the battle in favor of Sibley and his forces.

Arnott stated the recovered bullets present that members of the third got here to assist their fellow troopers who had been stunned on the prairie. The Dakota engaged them there, and have been…

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