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American Battlefields
Wood Lake   

Other Names: None

Location: Yellow Medicine County

Campaign: Operations to Suppress the Sioux Uprising (1862)

Date(s): September 23, 1862

Principal Commanders: Col. Henry Hastings Sibley [US]; Chief Little Crow [I]

Forces Engaged: Volunteer troops (about 1,500) [US]; Santee Sioux [I]

Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 37; I unknown)

Description: On September 19, 1862, Col. Henry Hastings Sibley set out from Fort Ridgely with 1,500 volunteers to put down the Santee uprising. As they neared Wood Lake on September 23, Sibley’s men escaped an ambush by 700 warriors under Chief Little Crow and engaged them in a battle. Sibley’s force won the day inflicting heavy casualties on the Sioux. For this action, Sibley received a promotion to brigadier general. Wood Lake was the first decisive defeat of the Sioux since the uprising began.

Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: MN002

Preservation Priority: III.3 (Class C)

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