U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

The Minnesota River Valley was the stage for the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862. The U.S.–Dakota War was a significant event for our region and our nation—a tragic chapter in the United States/Indian wars that foreshadowed the wars that were to come.

The Minnesota River Valley has a significant role in the national story of the settlement of the West, particularly the dramatic and tragic era of treaties, reservations, policies, war, and banishment. The underlying causes of the war – cultural conflict, socio-political motivations, and human failings – are universal. The lasting consequences of the war are stamped permanently in the minds, hearts and landscape of the valley.


The Minnesota River Valley Mobile Tour:

visit www.mnhs.org/tours/mnrivervalley to listen to stories and reflections about historic sites along the Minnesota River Valley. Learn about the people who lived there and the lasting impact of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Call from the byway, from home, from anywhere.

US Dakota war photos

Below are sites that help tell the story of the war.  Hover over a point on the map for just a bit of information or click on the point for even more detailed information about that location.

Legend for stories and itinerary maps

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Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway