Mary Anderson's Depredation Claim

When the war began, Mary Anderson was a housekeeper living near the Lower Agency with the family of Joseph B. Reynolds. The family was attacked by the Dakota at the Lower Agency. Mary was shot while trying to escape, and died in captivity a few days later. The Reynolds’ niece, Mattie Williams, and Mary Schwandt (whose story is told earlier in this exhibit) were taken prisoner at the same time. Mary Anderson’s depredation claim was filed by the family of Joseph B. Reynolds and is comprised mostly of dresses and clothing, which had been made in preparation for her upcoming wedding.

I was awake when she died, and she dropped away so gently that I thought she was asleep, until Mattie told me she was dead. . . . Joseph Campbell, a half-breed, assisted us in having her buried. Mattie and I saw her carried to the grave by the Indians, wrapped in an old piece of tepee-cloth, and laid in the ground near Little Crow’s house. She was subsequently disinterred, as I am informed, and buried at the Lower Agency. A likeness of a young man, to whom she was to have been married, we kept and returned to him; and her own we gave to Mrs. Reynolds, who yet retains it. --Mary Schwandt, recalling Mary Anderson’s death (1864)