He told them that there was trouble coming

Mr. Mack describes what his grandfather told him about the U.S.-Dakota War.

Things to think about: 

What is the difference between a celebration and a commemoration?

Audio Chapters

DL: Did you ever hear of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War while you were growing up?

OM: Oh, sure. Anniversary dates, they always celebrated with parades and stuff in New Ulm. And now I think they’re getting ready for the, what is it, the 150th or something like that. Grandpa talked about the Indians. Actually, there was one Indian- that was when Peter was alive yet, who would come and eat breakfast with them. He was more or less a friend, you might say. And then when the Uprising started they got the warning to go to New Ulm, so they quick got a wagon box, put on wheels, and loaded up a few things -- what they figured they needed -- and then they headed for New Ulm. And then after he had his family in New Ulm, Peter went out to help rescue people going west and pick up dead people. Actually, they found two or three [dead people] right here on this farm that had been killed by the Indians. Further up west- where that monument is that comes out of that ravine there next to the highway- there were two people that he helped pick up there.

DL: Peter was your uncle?

OM: That was my great-grandfather.

DL: Let’s talk more about what you heard about that Peter Mack, that great-grandfather, and any stories that were handed down to you. For example, was your family aware of the fact that there was trouble coming, that the Dakota were upset with many things?

OM: Yes, they got a warning from this friendly Indian here. He told them that there was trouble coming, and so they kind of were prepared a little for it. But then further west, the Hadleys came running towards New Ulm warning everybody on the way down that the Indians were coming and so they went, Peter Mack and his family. That’s really all I can tell you about it.

DL: You mentioned the Dakota man who had breakfast with the family; he’s the man who gave the warning that there was trouble coming. And then before there was actually any fighting, before the Dakota came, you’re telling me that a warning went out and that Peter Mack and his family went into New Ulm right away. Peter Mack was living over at Rich Runck’s, in that area?

OM: Yes, and then after he had his family in New Ulm, then I think he was with the sheriff, if I remember right, he followed them west to help people that were hurt, and to pick up bodies.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Orlin Mack Interviewer Deborah Locke made in New Ulm, MN | Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. He told them that there was trouble coming July 22, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1085

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.