Why don't you guys just forget about it

Ms. Anywaush describes the commemorative march that takes place to honor the Dakota who were force marched to the prison camp at Fort Snelling after the U.S.-Dakota War.

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DL: When did this march take place?

JA: It takes place every two years, November 6th, I think it starts, and it goes for a week. We start out in Morton and we go right down through, is it St. Peter? No. New Ulm. And we go down to Mankato and then back up. We follow the whole trail that they took, all the way. We went through a little town where a woman came out of her house. Word must have, the first time we went, word must have preceded us, {and people knew] that we were coming through. She came out of her house and she yelled at us. She said, “Why don’t you guys just forget about it. You guys should just forget about it.” That was the first inkling. And it seemed like on that stretch, we were getting into a more populated area, and then every mile we had stakes with names. We put a red flag next to the road and put tobacco there, and said a prayer. The State Troopers came and told us we couldn’t do that. While {the trooper} was telling us that, I noticed there must have been a car accident right there. There was a big memorial. He was telling us—we couldn’t do that, but somebody else had already done it. We were putting ours a little way away from theirs. The troopers followed us all the way. When we got to 35W, then it got to be really dangerous for the marchers, so we decided that we would go in cars from there, right to the Mendota Bridge and then we parked there, and then we went across. But I figured down there in Fort Snelling, all the people that died and were buried there, I’m sure the floods have taken all those bones and swept them down the river. There’s nothing there now.......

When we went—my mom was still living then, we camped out. There was no way we were going to suffer the way they did—in that cold while wearing moccasins—I don’t know how they did it. That whole march, that road, there must be bones laying all over. I don’t know how they did that.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Judith Anywaush Interviewer Deborah Locke made in Granite Falls, MN | Thursday, March 10, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Why don't you guys just forget about it May 29, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/991

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