But they're our friends

Share your story submitted by: C. | Stillwater, MN

My great grandmother, Catherine Pfaender was eight years old. Her father, (Jakob) Wilhelm Pfaender, was away fighting in the Civil War while Catherine and her siblings lived with their mother at their farm outside of New Ulm.  U.S. soldiers came and said they had to leave their home immediately or they would be killed by Indians.  Catherine's mother didn't believe them.  She knew her Indian neighbors to be friends.  Their children played together, and she traded her baked goods for meat that the Indians obtained through hunting.  But the soldiers insisted they leave at once, so they got into the wagon and left.  As they headed down the road toward New Ulm, Catherine's mother turned back to look at their house and saw that it was on fire.

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