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I have been enjoying the series "In the footsteps of Little Crow" for this story is also about my great-great grandfather who died in the Redwood Ferry ambush in 1862. His name was Charles Reed Bell. He married Elizabeth Maskrey January 30, 1845 in Clarksville, PA. They had a large family~10 children. One of them being, Mary Elizabeth Bell, who married Martin Van Buren March. They in turn had a son named George Thomas March who was my grandfather. This is my dad's side of the family. My dad was Robert Lane March. Thank you for publishing this story~ an important part of our Minnesota Heritage. I look forward to reading more! L. Six
I have been reading your story of Little Crow and have been comparing it to that of my grandfather, William Richard Lovell. On August 10, 1862 at the age of 16 he enlisted in the military and was ordered into the march from Hutchinson to Acton. At the age of 91 years 5 months he wrote his account of his time in the Indian War and the Civil War. This original handwritten accounting is at the Minnesota Historical Museum and can be found under his name, William Richard Lovell. His memory was amazing and accurate to dates, times, names and places. It is interesting to see another side to the events. During the Civil War he was captured by the Confederates and was imprisoned in Andersonville Prison until his rescue. His mind was clear and he was involved in all aspects of life when he died in his sleep at 99 years 8 months of age. He was well known as "The Grand Old Man". His memories and life have been an enormous part of my life and his story "My Experience In The Indian And Civil War 1862-1865" has been shared by all of his great grandchildren and others in our school projects. Hopefully you will all take the chance to read about his experiences.
This is the story of my great-great grandparents, Johann and Catherine Kochendorfer and their five children.
They lived on a farm in the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 33 Flora Township, Middle Creek Settlement, Renville County, now 723rd Ave, no of Hwy 15. They arrived April 1862 and lived there 4 months.
On August 18, 1862, the Dakota, who lived on a nearby reservation, lashed out at the settlers in the area, killing hundreds including Johann, Catherine and 3 yr old Sarah.
The other 4 Kochendorfer children John, 11, Rose, 8(my great-grandma)Kate 7, and Margaret,5, were able to make their escape after watching their parents and Sarah die, reaching safety at Fort Ridgely, some 20 or more miles away.
My great grandma Rose was raised by the Keller family in Trimbelle Township, Ellsworth, Wisc.
The Kochendorfer family portrait is now at the MN History Museum, part of the 1862 Dakota Uprising exhibit.
My great-grandparents, Capt.Patrick and Martha Gardner were a young couple living near New Ulm in 1962, Patrick having escaped the famine in Ireland, moved from Boston in 1857. When the alarm was given, Patrick volunteered and was in the 2nd Battle of New Ulm. He later served in 3 other units, the last one Minnesota 1st, Co. M, under Sibley. He froze his legs in a march from the west to Ft.Snelling and became a complete cripple in later life. What did Martha do? I've often wondered, left alone with little boys, 2 & 4 and heavily pregnant with her 3rd child, did she join the many refugees taking shelter in St.Peter and St.Paul? Who helped her? Where did she give birth in 1862? My great-grandparents were affected and afflicted for the remainder of their lives. They had nothing to do with the damaging policies and dishonest traders which led to so much suffering and death on both sides. They were trying to save their lives.
I loved the story. I was wondering why no comment was made of the Schell family from New Ulm during the conflict. Here is a little history from their web page:
The location of the brewery was ideal. Aside from the beauty of its natural surroundings (August was especially fond of his hikes into the woods), the brewery was located next to an artesian spring, providing exceptionally pure water for brewing. Its proximity to the Cottonwood River gave the brewery a means of transporting beer and supplies, and the river also became essential to the refrigeration process. Each winter, large blocks of ice would be harvested and hauled up the hill where they would be stored in underground caves. The ice would keep the caves cool throughout the spring and early summer in order to allow proper aging and fermentation of the beer.
But along with the rewards also came the risks. New Ulm, as many settlers back then realized, was located in the heart of Dakota Indian country. In the early days of the brewery, many of the Dakota Sioux Tribe visited the brewery where Mrs. Schell often provided them with food. This goodwill proved to be a blessing for the brewery. In 1862, southern Minnesota was the focal point of the "Sioux Uprising," otherwise known as the "Dakota Conflict." While buildings were burned and ransacked in New Ulm and other towns in the region, the brewery remained untouched due to the kindness of the Schell family.
My great-great grandfather, Francis Berube came from Canada to Plymouth, Minnesota before the 1862 conflict. Friendly with the local Indians who passed through the homestead from Mille Lacs to points south, he learned how to speak to them and shared hay and food. When the Dustin family was ambushed on June 29th, 1863 near Howard Lake, MN, there were two surviving children, Alma and Albert. Francis and his wife Sybil took Albert into his home to raise along with their daughter, Lily. Albert grew up and and later became an undertaker in Wisconsin.
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