Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dakota Dawn

Although numerous books have chronicled the events of the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota, none have really detailed the early fighting in a satisfying way.  This will likely change next April with the publication of Gregory Michno's Dakota Dawn: The Decisive First Week of the Sioux Uprising, August 1862. It will run over 450 pages and be given the Savas Beatie treatment so hopefully, in addition to the fullest narrative yet, we'll get some real maps of the fighting at Fort Ridgely, Redwood Ferry, Birch Coulee, and New Ulm.

From the publisher description:
In addition to important secondary studies, Michno's work is based upon 2,000 pages of primary sources including recollections, original records, diaries, newspaper accounts, and other archival records. One seldom-used resource is the Indian Depredation Claim files. After the Uprising, settlers filed nearly 3,000 claims for damages in which they itemized losses and set forth their experiences. These priceless documents paint firsthand slices of the life of a frontier people, their cabins, tools, clothes, crops, animals, and cherished possessions. Many of these claims have never been incorporated into a book, allowing Michno to more fully expound on various episodes and correct previous misconceptions.

Can't wait.

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