On November 8, 1862, Sibley and his military forces began the journey to move the 303 condemned men from the Lower Sioux Agency to a prison camp in Mankato where the executions were to take place. The prisoners, shackled together in horse-drawn wagons, were attacked by a mob on the outskirts of New Ulm on November 9. Two of the prisoners later died of their injuries. Sibley arrested several New Ulm men, accusing them of coordinating the attack and forcing them to accompany the convoy to Mankato in order to prevent further violence against the prisoners. Then he made them walk home.
Reminiscence of Rev. Stephen Riggs, missionary to the Dakota, 1880.
Wakanajaja's (George Crooks) description of his journey to one of the prison camps, as told to the Morton Enterprise, Jan. 29, 1909:
"The excitement of the Indians knew no bounds when they realized they were in the power of the soldiers and the scene was terrifying to behold, fear and despair completely carried them away and the impression gained an everlasting hold on his [my] youthful mind. It was repeatedly told us we were all to be executed and the insults of the soldiers who spoke the Indian tongue seemed a convincing fact that all were to be put to death immediately. This cruel order was constantly in our minds until the verdict of our trial was given us through an interpreter, some months later.
After the surrender the Indians were loaded into old Red River carts and started for the Lower Agency and Manatee. The carts were small, drawn by an ox, and it was with difficulty for any more than four persons to occupy the box. In the cart I was forced to occupy were two Indiana men and my sixteen year old brother. We were bound securely and on our journey resembled a load of animals on their way to market. We traveled slow meeting now and then a white person who never failed to give us a look of revenge as we jolted along in our cramped condition.
As we came near New Ulm my brother told me the driver was . . . afraid to go through New Ulm, my heart leaped into my mouth and I crouched down beside my brother completely overcome with fear. In a short time we reached the outskirts of the town and the long looked-for verdict--death--seemed at hand. Women were running about, men waving their arms and shouting at the top of their voices, convinced the driver the citizens of that village were wild for the thirst of blood, so he turned the vehicle in an effort to escape the angry mob but not until too late, they were upon us. We were pounded to a jelly, my arms, feet, and head resembled raw beef steak. How I escaped alive has always been a mystery to me. My brother was killed and when I realized he was dead I felt the only person in the world to look after me was gone and I wished at the time they had killed me.
We reached Mankato late that evening and the trial conviction and sentences are merely a matter of history. I can truthfully say the experienced photographed on my youthful mind can never be defaced by time."
On April 22, 1863, the prisoners convicted by the military commission who had been imprisoned at Mankato but were spared execution were sent by steamboat to a military prison in Davenport, Iowa. At least 120 Dakota men died during their imprisonment at Davenport.
For six days beginning November 7, 1862, about 1,700 Dakota people (mostly women and children) who had surrendered but had not been sentenced to death or prison, were removed from the Lower Agency to an internment camp along the river below Fort Snelling. As the group passed through Henderson, Minnesota, they were attacked by white settlers.
The Dakota spent the winter at the internment camp. Estimates of deaths in the camp that winter range from 102 to 300, most due to outbreaks of measles and other diseases that were also sweeping through St. Peter and other communities where war refugees were gathered.
In May 1863, the interned Dakota--along with about 2,000 Ho-Chunk who had had no part in the war--were loaded onto steamboats and moved to a camp at Crow Creek, in present-day South Dakota.